General Motors’ Cruise’s Long Way to Roads

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Cruise is considering Houston and Dallas as potential cities for relaunching its service; robotaxis may not return to city streets until the fourth quarter.

General Motors’ (GM) self-driving car division, Cruise, is navigating a path to convince regulators and the public about the safety of its robotaxis. After a safety report criticised Cruise’s handling of an accident and regulatory compliance, GM announced a significant reduction in Cruise’s budget and postponed an important update. Cruise faces investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other probes.

Cruise’s operations came to a halt following an incident where a Cruise vehicle was involved in an accident in San Francisco, leading to California officials revoking Cruise’s permit to operate in the state. The NHTSA issued a recall of Cruise vehicles, adding to the company’s challenges. This situation highlights the difficulties of integrating autonomous vehicles into public spaces.

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Before Cruise can resume operations, it must navigate regulatory approvals and rebuild trust with regulators and the public. Cruise aims to relaunch its service with supervised driving in one city as soon as it addresses the concerns raised. Internal communications suggest that Cruise’s robotaxis may not return to city streets until the fourth quarter.

Cruise is considering Houston and Dallas as potential cities for relaunching its service, starting with a limited number of cars and no passengers. This cautious approach reflects the need to rebuild trust with regulators and the public, as highlighted by Matthew Wansley, a professor specialising in emerging automotive technologies.

An engineering analysis found several failures in the Cruise vehicle involved in the October accident, including inaccuracies in sensing the pedestrian’s location and the vehicle’s response. Despite these issues and a pretax loss of $2.7 billion last year, GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, asserted that Cruise’s technology has been validated as safer than human driving. .

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