California DMV Halts Cruise’s Driverless Cars, Effective Immediately [Update]

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has immediately suspended the operation of driverless vehicles by General Motors’ Cruise unit.

The suspension was announced on Tuesday and specifically targets Cruise’s autonomous vehicle deployment in the state, reports Bloomberg.

The decision does not impact Cruise’s ability to conduct tests using a safety driver. The suspension follows a series of high-profile accidents in San Francisco involving Cruise’s autonomous vehicles, fire trucks, and pedestrians.

Cruise has not issued an immediate comment on the suspension. The move raises questions about the safety of autonomous vehicles and could have implications for the broader industry.

Cruise has elaborated on the circumstances surrounding its recent suspension by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The suspension followed a hit-and-run incident in San Francisco on October 2, 2023.

A Cruise autonomous vehicle (AV), named Panini, was involved in a collision with a pedestrian who had initially been struck by a human-driven Nissan Sentra. After the collision, the AV shockingly pulled the individual forward approximately 20 feet while attempting to move out of the lane for safety reasons.

Cruise reported that it has been fully transparent with regulatory bodies, sharing all pertinent information. Simulations conducted by the company indicated that their AV would have detected and avoided the pedestrian, responding within 460 milliseconds to minimize the impact.

The company emphasized its commitment to safety and stated that this incident will be incorporated into future simulation tests to improve the AV’s response to such rare scenarios. The company maintains that, despite the incident, its safety record indicates that its AVs are safer than human drivers in urban settings.

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