California DMV suspends cruise robotaxis due to safety concerns

California DMV has suspended cruise robotaxis from SF roads

photo: Phil Pasquini (Shutterstock)

The California DMV exposed GM-owned driverless cruise taxis from the streets on Tuesday. This comes weeks after a Hit-and-run accident in San Francisco. Cruise’s robotaxi suspension is effective immediately, and the DMV says it has determined that “the manufacturer’s vehicles are unsafe for public use.”

Cruise has been told it must remove its robotaxis from the roads effective immediately while the DMV investigates any dangers associated with the technology and whether Cruise misrepresented safety information. The DMV says it can revoke or suspend permits immediately if there is an “unreasonable risk to the public” and will not lift the suspension “until the company has complied with the requirements to the department’s satisfaction.”

“Public safety remains the California DMV’s top priority, and the Department’s autonomous vehicle regulations provide a framework to facilitate the safe testing and deployment of this technology on public roadways in California,” the California DMV said in a statement via E -Email statement sent to Gizmodo.

Cruise claims its robotaxis have exceeded the safety benchmark for human ride-hailing services, the company told Gizmodo, adding that it was a new publication Performance data Research into driverless performance found that taxis were involved in 65% fewer collisions overall.

The company said it worked closely with the DMV, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the California Public Utilities Commission in the investigation into the hit-and-run that led to the suspension of its robotaxis.

The investigation follows the accident in which a human driver collided with a pedestrian crossing the street just before 9:30 p.m. PT on October 2. The pedestrian was struck by a person driving a Nissan Sentra and was injured thrown in the way of the driverless cruise taxi who “braked aggressively to minimize the impact” but still crashed into the pedestrian, Cruise said in a Press release. The human driver responsible for the collision is still at large.

“Ultimately, we develop and deploy autonomous vehicles to save lives. … Our thoughts continue to be with the victim and hope for a quick and full recovery,” Cruise spokesman Navideh Forghani said in an emailed statement to Gizmodo. The teams are “currently conducting an analysis to identify possible improvements to the AV’s response to this type of extremely rare event.”

Although Cruise is still allowed to test its vehicles with human drivers behind the wheel, the DMV has not set a time limit for suspending Cruise’s driverless taxis.

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