There will be fewer Cruise autonomous vehicles plying San Francisco roads after the GM-owned business agreed to cut operations by half. This came after authorities opened investigations into two crashes involving Cruise robotaxis, as reported by the Boston Herald.
GM acquiesced to the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) demand for a reduction after a collision with an emergency vehicle last week. The Cruise EV had no human driver at the time of the incident.
This setback comes after Cruise and its Google-owned competitor Waymo obtained a license to operate autonomous robotaxis all over San Francisco and at any time.
The first crash occurred around 10 pm when a Cruise vehicle was hit by an emergency vehicle on call. According to Cruise’s account of the incident posted on Twitter, the Cruise car had a green light. There was a passenger in the EV, and they were taken to the hospital in an ambulance with injuries that were not severe.
The second crash occurred on the same night. However, it had no passengers when it collided with another vehicle.
Cruise’s general manager, Greg Deitrerich, explained that buildings affect visibility at intersections, and the car might not see objects around a corner until they are very near the intersection. He added that the autonomous car picked out the emergency siren when it became distinct from background noise. However, the car could not prevent the crash despite identifying the risk and braking.
A Cruise robotaxi crashed into a semi-truck in San Francisco in a previous accident.
The DMV says the fleet reduction remains in place until the investigation is completed and Cruise implements more safety actions.