GM’s Cruise to suspend all driverless car fleets

Heather Somerville/Reuters

Days after California officials banned the self-driving car firm Cruise from operating its cars on state highways, Cruise has decided to halt its self-driving activities across its entire fleet.

The heavily reported San Francisco collision involving one of Cruise’s autonomous cars prompted General Motors-owned Cruise to declare on Thursday that “rebuilding public trust is the most important thing for us right now.”

In order to accomplish this, the business declared that it would “proactively pause driverless operations across all of our fleets” in order to evaluate its systems and procedures. It stated that “supervised” activities, in which safety drivers operate automobiles, would persist.

Additionally, Austin, Phoenix, and Houston in the United States had been using cruise ships. The news, which comes days after the California Department of Motor Vehicles banned the company’s autonomous vehicles from the roads and declared them “not safe for the public’s operation,” represents a serious setback for Cruise.

That came after an incident in San Francisco this month where a person was pulled beneath a Cruise car 20 feet. The regulator said that Cruise had “misrepresented” several aspects of the accident, leading to the company’s driverless cars being taken off the road.

Although Cruise acknowledged the incident’s specifics in a blog post, it stated that it had “proactively” given information and maintained communication with the California DMV and other authorities. These advances occurred just a few months after driverless taxis were allowed to transport passengers freely and without human oversight in San Francisco, the first city in the United States to do so.

The California Public Utilities Commission gave Cruise and Waymo, the competitor company owned by Alphabet, permission to operate driverless taxi services across the city in August. Their cars are now frequently seen on the streets of San Francisco.

Driverless automobile technology is being developed by a number of businesses, including Tesla and Zoox, which is purchased by Amazon. Proponents of the technology claim that these vehicles can be safer and more dependable than those that are operated by humans. This week, Cruise stated, “Safety is fundamental to our mission to save lives — it’s at the core of everything we do.” Cruise said in its announcement on Thursday that there had been “no new on-road incidents” in relation to its decision to halt all autonomous vehicle operations.

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