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A BUSY interchange in San Francisco was brought to a standstill after a fleet of malfunctioning driverless cars blocked traffic for hours.

The swarm of Cruise Robotaxis stalled vehicles on Gough and Fulton Streets on Tuesday night as a public trial of the new tech went terribly wrong.

1Several robotaxis halted traffic for several hours after malfunctioningCredit: Reddit

Traffic was reportedly halted for two hours as company employees scrambled to the scene to fix the bungled cars.

Images shared on Reddit showed the extent of the malfunction with several driverless vehicles stationed at the entrance and exit of the junction.

It left a queue of traffic in its wake as frustrated drivers were left fuming. 

“The first thing I say to my co-worker is that they’re getting together to murder us,” wrote one bemused motorist on Reddit.

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“It was a pretty surreal event. Humans had to come and manually take the cars away. Cruise should get fined for blocking the street off for so long.

"They even made it so the street sweeper couldn’t hit an entire block.”

Cruise, which is backed by General Motors, have not revealed what caused the vehicles to stop or why they suffered the same fault in the same place.

“We had an issue earlier this week that caused some of our vehicles to cluster together,” a company spokesperson said.

“While it was resolved and no passengers were impacted, we apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced.”

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According to Techcrunch, the vehicles were eventually recovered through a combination of remote assistance and manual retrieval.

No accidents were reported because of the malfunction.

The embarrassing mishap came just one week after Cruise launched its paid driverless commercial taxis service in San Francisco – seen as a world first in a major city.

Due to the company’s license, the services have been allowed to operate between 10pm and 6am with the cars restricted to particular streets.

Cruise had previously offered free rides to the public for several months before launching its paid service.

However, questions have consistently been raised about their safety and whether they break motoring laws.

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In April, cops reportedly pulled over a Cruise vehicle after it was found driving without headlights on after dark.

In a widely shared Instagram clip, officers were caught on camera looking confused after discovering the vehicle had no driver.

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I’m an expert – these 4 everyday habits are messing up your body clock

THE modern world means we are living a life far removed from that of cavemen - who rose at sunrise and slept at sunset.

But now experts have warned that some common everyday habits that most of us a guilty of could be messing up our body clocks, and harming out health.

1The body clock is implicated by sleep, meal times and exerciseCredit: Getty

Body clock disruption is thought to contribute to many chronic diseases, from diabetes to dementia.

Dr Greg Potter, an expert in sleep, nutrition, metabolism and exercise physiology, told The Sun: “Our ancestors lived in harmony with the environment. 

“When the sun was up they would gather food and water, and at night they would rest and fast.

“But the problem is since electric lighting was developed in the 19th century, we can now be active throughout the night.

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"And with more recent technology developments we can order food with a few swipes of the phone instead of being physically active to get it.

“So our bodies' clocks are prone to disruption.”

The value of the body clock

Why is it worthwhile to work in tandem with your body clock?

“To have more energy, sleep better, and digest and metabolise your food more efficiently,” Dr Potter said.

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People who are chronically out of sync with their natural body clock are risking health problems, research suggests.

Night shift workers are prone to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and even some types of cancer, which could be because of their altered time schedules, scientists say.

And in experiments where humans have been put through strange light and dark cycles that mimic shift work, things have “quickly gone wrong”, Dr Potter said.

“Within just a few days of body clock disruption there are meaningful health repercussions. 

“These include an increase in blood pressure and a reduction in heart rate variability, reflecting declining cardiovascular health. 

“Then there's the combination of worse insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation, both of which contribute to development of diseases such as diabetes. 

“Brain function is affected too — people struggle to focus, in part because their sleep suffers.”

Dr Potter revealed the mistakes you are making that are throwing off your body clock:

1. Not getting outside enough

The good outdoors is linked to reduced stress and better mental health.

And Dr Potter recommends you aim to get at least two hours of it every day.

Daylight is crucial for the body clock, and can’t be substituted for indoor lights, he said.

“In a typical well-lit room, the intensity might be 500 lux (a measure of light intensity). 

“But outdoors on a sunny day at midday, with no clouds, it can be over 100,000 lux - more than 200 times as intense.

“This affects your brain and body clock, and it's in part why it's important to spend time outdoors during the day - ideally at least 2 hours per day - to keep your clock on time. 

“There are ways to build light exposure in your day, such as having breakfast in your garden, or taking a 15 min stroll at lunch. These modifications all add up.”

2. Lighting your home wrong 

Dr Potter said in the evening, overhead lights are your worst enemy and should be dimmed or turned off two to three hours before bed.

He said: “We never used to have strong overhead lights after sunset — we would have only been exposed to light from fire, stars and the moon.

“Too much evening exposure to strong overhead lighting can delay sleep and reduce its depth.

“The colour of light matters too. Light that is rich in short wavelengths - of which blue light is the perfect example - is by far the most potent light at shifting the body clock.”

Screens, such as our mobiles, and overhead lighting can be rich in this type of light. This is useful when in an office and trying to stay focused, but not so much when you’re winding down.

Instead, focus on filling the home with warm, "romantic"  ambient lighting in the evening, and it's best to use lights that are at eye level or below rather than overhead ones.

Dr Potter said: “Red light consists of longer wavelengths that are less disruptive to the body clock, so if you use an alarm, pick one that emits red light."

3. Eating over too many hours

In the modern day era, some of us are battling to stay awake 18 hours of the day, from 6am till midnight.

But Dr Potter warns against eating throughout the day and instead sticking to a shorter grazing window.

Dr Potter continued: “Time-restricted eating has become popular in the past decade. This practice typically entails restricting food intake to 8 to 10 hours each day.

"For instance, you could choose to only eat between 10am and 7pm.”

 “With a brief, regular eating window, you are aligning your food intake with when your body is optimised to digest and metabolise food.

“One example of this is that your blood sugar will remain more stable after a carb-rich snack at lunch than after the very same item consumed 30 minutes before bed.

"There are other benefits too, one of which is simply that people tend to consume fewer highly processed snacks — if you finish eating at 7pm, you won't be snacking on crisps on the sofa at 9pm."

“When people practise time-restricted eating, they experience a variety of health benefits. 

“They eat slightly fewer calories, lose a bit of fat, experience better blood sugar control and might also reduce their blood pressure.”

4. Being sedentary

Exercise is the third factor that is intertwined with the body clock.

"Regular exercise can help keep our bodies' clocks ticking on time,” Dr Potter said.

But he warned that “very high intensity too close to bed can be disruptive” - as in the evening, you’ll want to focus on winding down.

Instead, you want to aim for a workout at around 5-6pm.

Dr Potter said: “A disproportionate number of sporting records have been set in late afternoon, or early evening.

“Core body temperature is higher at that time, which positively affects exercise performance, particularly speed, power and strength.

“Some of the enzymes that are important to energy production in muscles work better at a higher core temperature.

"The muscles are more pliable and the speed at which your nerves can pass signals is slightly higher too.”

If you’re a night owl looking to become a “morning person”, get to the gym earlier. 

Dr Potter said: “Exercising in the morning can help night owls shift their body clocks and fall asleep earlier.

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“Exercise affects your body clock such that if you exercise at a regular time every day, your body anticipates it at that time of day.

“So if you only can workout at 7.30am, the clocks in your muscles important for exercise performance will be well prepared.”

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