GM’s Cruise Recalls Robotaxis After Crash, Updates Self-Driving Software

According to filings that were recently made public, General Motors Co.’s all-electric robotaxi subsidiary, Cruise, recalled and updated the software in 80 self-driving cars after a June crash in San Francisco — reports CNBC.

The crash in question occurred on June 3. It involved a Cruise vehicle braking harshly while attempting an unprotected left turn as an oncoming vehicle traveling 15 mph over the speed limit switched from a right-turn lane to cross the intersection. Fortunately, the incident only resulted in minor injuries.

Unfortunately for Cruise, the crash occurred just one day after the company received approval to commercialize its robotaxi fleet. In June, Cruise became the first company to offer driverless, fared rides to the public in a major city.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into the accident.

In the public filings, federal regulators said the since-recalled software could “incorrectly predict another vehicle’s path or be insufficiently reactive to the sudden path change of a road user.” Cruise said that a software update was deployed in July to address the problem.

At the time of the accident, Cruise said its robotaxi “had to decide between two different risk scenarios and chose the one with the least potential for a serious collision at the time, before the oncoming vehicle’s sudden change of direction.”

The GM-owned company also noted that the June crash was the only such incident in more than 123,560 driverless unprotected left turns. In addition, the filings revealed that law enforcement found the other vehicle to be the “party at most fault” for the collision.

In the wake of the crash, Cruise continued to operate its robotaxi fleet but temporarily disabled unprotected left turns. The company said it gradually reintroduced unprotected left turns to its cars following the July software update.