Tech

California slams brakes on Cruise’s driverless cars after incidents

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced Tuesday that it is suspending the deployment and driverless permits of autonomous vehicle company Cruise immediately.

According to an Oct. 24 DigitalTrends report, the suspension comes after a series of concerning incidents involving Cruise’s self-driving cars on the streets of San Francisco, where the company has been testing its vehicles for years.

Most recently, a female pedestrian was struck by a vehicle and then got trapped underneath a Cruise autonomous car. The DMV said its decision came after Cruise allegedly withheld video footage from the live investigation of this incident. According to the regulator, Cruise failed to show all of the maneuvers made by the self-driving car after the collision, preventing the DMV from properly evaluating Cruise’s ability to operate safely.

Cruise shared the full video with the DMV, and the victim of the collision is still recovering

This incident occurred just two months after Cruise was granted permission to run robotaxi services in San Francisco around the clock. The company claims it shared the full video with the DMV and other agencies. The victim of the collision is still recovering.

Other recent incidents include a Cruise vehicle colliding with a fire truck in August, resulting in the company having to halve its autonomous fleet in San Francisco. That same month, another Cruise car got stuck in wet cement.

The DMV said public safety remains its top concern, and Cruise’s actions present an unreasonable risk. The current suspension affects Cruise’s fully driverless vehicles, though the company said it will pause all driverless operations in light of the order.

Cruise must now take measures laid out by the regulator before its permit can be reinstated. The company stated that it aims to develop autonomous vehicles to save lives and that in this recent incident, a human driver struck the pedestrian first.

This suspension deals a blow to Cruise’s autonomous vehicle aspirations in California, its main testing ground. The company must satisfy the DMV’s safety requirements before it can resume driverless operations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Rodolfo Clix; Pexels; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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