Cruise, the self-driving car subsidiary of GM, was asked to reduce its robotaxi fleet by 50% in San Francisco after Thursday night’s crash with a fire truck.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles, the agency that regulates the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles in the state, has requested a reduction in operations. The state agency said it was investigating “new incidents” involving Cruise vehicles in San Francisco. It called on Cruise to reduce its fleet by 50% and have no more than 50 driverless cars operating during the day and 150 driverless cars operating at night until the investigation is complete.
“The safety of the traveling public is the top priority of the California DMV,” the DMV said in a statement issued Friday night, adding that it reserves the right, following an investigation, to suspend or revoke the test. and / or deployment permissions if found to be unreasonable. public safety risk. “The primary focus of DMV regulations is the safe operation of autonomous vehicles and the safety of the public who share the road with these vehicles.”
Cruise told TechCrunch that it was complying with the request. Cruise also issued a blog post giving the company’s perspective on how and why the crash happened.
“Over a hundred people lose their lives every day on America’s roads, and countless others are seriously injured, Cruise said in an emailed statement. “We believe It is clear that Cruise has positively impacted overall road safety, and look forward to working with the CA DMV to make any improvements and provide any data they need to strengthen the safety and efficiency of our fleet.”
Cruise has had a series of snafus, including at least 10 of its driverless cars reportedly stalling and blocking traffic, threatening to derail its commercial plans. The series of glitches comes just a week after winning approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to expand commercial operations in San Francisco.
The CPUC, the agency that regulates ride-hailing operations including those involving robotaxis, approved Cruise and Waymo on August 10 for final permits allowing the companies to operate 24 hours a day. a day, seven days a week, expanding their fleet and paying passengers throughout. the city.
The latest incident at Cruise happened Thursday night when a Cruise robotaxi and an emergency vehicle crashed and left a passenger injured. Cruise said in a social media post that one of the self-driving Chevy Bolt EVs was entering the intersection at a green traffic light at Polk and Turk streets when it was struck by an emergency vehicle that appeared to be on its way to an emergency scene. .
Earlier this week, San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu filed motions with the CPUC to stop Cruise and Waymo’s plan to charge for robotaxi rides in the city at all hours. Chiu’s arguments were similar to comments made by residents and other city officials during the public hearing before the CPUC vote.