General Motors’ Cruise to Halt Driverless Operations

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GM reported a loss of about $1.9 billion on Cruise for the year up to September, with $732 million lost in the third quarter alone.

Cruise, an autonomous vehicle startup owned by General Motors (GM), has temporarily halted all of its driverless operations.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspended Cruise’s deployment and testing permits in the state due to safety concerns. The California Public Utilities Commission also withdrew the license that allowed Cruise to charge passengers for rides in its robotaxis.

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The DMV suspension order for Cruise stated that ‘the manufacturer’s vehicles are not safe for the public’s operation’ and that they ‘may lack the ability to respond in a safe and appropriate manner during incidents involving a pedestrian.’

(IC: Cruise)

In an incident in October, a human-driven vehicle hit a pedestrian, causing her to fall into the path of a Cruise self-driving car. While the Cruise vehicle initially stopped, it then moved over the pedestrian while trying to pull over.

A Linkedin post by Cruise stated “The most important thing for us right now is to take steps to rebuild public trust. Part of this involves taking a hard look inwards and at how we do work at Cruise, even if it means doing things that are uncomfortable or difficult.”

The company clarified that this decision isn’t due to new on-road incidents, and operations with human supervision will continue.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a safety probe into Cruise after reports of multiple accidents.

NHTSA has also opened a probe into whether Cruise’s precautions with autonomous robotaxis to safeguard pedestrians.

To this, Cruise responded that they are fully cooperating with the probe as safety is their priority.

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