Cruise resumes robotaxi tests

General Motors’ self-driving brand Cruise will resume tests for its robotaxi service, the company announced yesterday, months after Cruise suspended operations amid scrutiny of its driverless cars, which increased after Forbes reported a pedestrian was inadvertently dragged by one of the company’s vehicles.

Cruise will evaluate its autonomous vehicles without human drivers as part of its next testing phase, the company said. The vehicles will be accompanied by a “safety driver” behind the wheel who will monitor the vehicle and take over if needed.

Cruise spokesperson Sara Autio said the tests are a “critical step for validating our self-driving systems” that will “help inform where we ultimately will resume driverless operations.”Cruise suspended its driverless operations nationwide in October, days after California revoked the company’s permit statewide after determining its vehicles were “not safe for the public’s operation.” The decision follows Forbes’ reporting that a female pedestrian in San Francisco was dragged by a Cruise autonomous vehicle after a human-driven car pushed her in front of the robotaxi. Cruise said it would “take steps to rebuild public trust,” which the company noted could include “doing things that are uncomfortable or difficult.” Cruise subsequently recalled 950 vehicles from its robotaxi fleet to issue a software update to its “Collision Detection Subsystem,” which allows the robotaxis to detect crashes and pull over after a collision. Cruise CEO and co-founder Kyle Vogt resigned weeks later, while nine other executives and one-fourth of the company’s workforce were also laid off.


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