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The NHTSA is Opening a Probe into GM’s Cruise Over Risks to Pedestrians

Following reports of four collisions involving Cruise autonomous vehicles and pedestrians, the NHTSA has launched a new investigation.

  • This comes after reports of four incidents involving the company’s robotaxis and pedestrians.

  • The NHTSA says Cruise vehicles have been found to encroach on pedestrians in some circumstances.

  • Another investigation is looking into crashes with vehicles and emergency responders.

The autonomous driving arm of General Motors, Cruise, is the target of a new probe from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) following reports of four incidents involving its vehicles and pedestrians.

While the company was already being investigated in relation to crashes involving other vehicles and emergency responders, this latest probe will focus entirely on instances where the safety of pedestrians has been compromised.

Cruise robotaxis have been operating in San Fransisco for a while now, and since the launch of the operation, they have been involved in their fair share of disturbances and incidents.

From causing gridlocks by stopping in the middle of intersections to causing injuries to passengers by failing to yield to a fire truck, Cruise autonomous vehicles have been in the news quite often recently.

Despite this, the California Public Utilities Commission voted to allow the company and its rival Waymo to operate robotaxis around the clock in San Fransisco back in August, despite opposition from residents and local politicians.

Now, reports have emerged showing that Cruise robotaxis have also been involved in at least four pedestrian crashes.

According to the NHTSA, two of the collisions have been reported by Cruise itself while the other two have been identified via posts on social media platforms.

In its preliminary findings, the agency points out that the vehicles have encroached on pedestrians who were entering the roadway close to the robotaxi’s intended path, even if they were using designated crosswalks.

A fifth incident is also being looked into, but it hasn’t been bundled with the other reports due to its particular circumstances. Indeed, a little over two weeks ago now, a pedestrian in San Fransisco was hit by a hit-and-run driver and bounced into the next lane, where they were then struck by a Cruise robotaxi that couldn’t stop in time.

Cruise says it will continue to collaborate with NHTSA officials in order to help them in their inquiry by providing additional information for each of the studied incidents.

Source: Automotive News

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