Saturday, September 23, 2023
News Cruise Robotaxi Operations get reduced by 50% following Crash with Fire Truck

Cruise Robotaxi Operations get reduced by 50% following Crash with Fire Truck

Cruise might be in hot water as the California DMV launched an investigation into a few recent incidents involving its autonomous cars.

  • A Cruise robotaxi collided with a fire truck that was responding to an incident.

  • The company is now limited to 50 autonomous taxis during the day and 150 at night.

  • The local DMV is investigating recent ʺconcerning events” involving Cruise.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has launched an investigation into GM’s Cruise and its robotaxi operations following a number of “concerning events”.

Last week, a driverless Chevrolet Bolt EV operated as a robotaxi by Cruise in the San Francisco area collided with a fire truck that was responding to an emergency.

According to the company, the taxi entered an intersection at a green light but failed to notice a fire truck that was coming from the perpendicular street with its siren and emergency lights activated.

The truck couldn’t avoid the driverless car and the passenger it was carrying received minor injuries.

This is not the first time a Cruise vehicle has caused trouble on San Francisco streets either, not even when only considering events that have happened this month.

Indeed, a fleet of 10 Cruise robotaxis caused traffic jams in the city a week ago when they suddenly stopped in the middle of the road for about 20 minutes due to connectivity problems.

Cruise made a statement that blamed a large music festival that was held in the area for this particular incident, implying that the event messed with the wireless signals used by the cars to communicate with their environment.

What makes the timing of these last two unfortunate events implicating Cruise robotaxis is that they happened only days after the company, as well as its rival Waymo, were granted approval to expand their commercial operations in the area.

Despite all of this, Cruise still says its vehicles and its business model are contributing to make roads safer since “Over one hundred people lose their lives every day on American roadways, and countless others are badly injured” in accidents caused by human drivers.

The California DMV doesn’t seem so convinced of the safety of the company’s autonomous vehicles, however, and it has just ordered a 50% reduction of the fleet until its investigation into the matter is completed.

This means that Cruise will not be allowed to operate more than 50 robotaxis at a time during daytime and 150 at night, at least for a few days.

In addition to the state agency, residents and local authorities have recently expressed their concern over the rapid deployment of new autonomous driving technologies in San Francisco, which they believe are not ready for large-scale testing yet.

Source: TechCrunch

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