San Francisco: Cruise to halve its driverless fleet after recent crashes

Cruise has agreed to reduce its driverless taxi operation in San Francisco by 50% after two separate crashes involving its vehicles.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles said in a statement that it is investigating “recent concerning incidents involving Cruise vehicles” and that the company agreed to its request to reduce the number of operating vehicles by 50% with “no more than 50 driverless vehicles in operation during the day and 150 driverless vehicles in operation at night,” says Business Insider.

“Over one hundred people lose their lives every day on American roadways, and countless others are badly injured. We believe it’s clear that Cruise positively impacts overall road safety, and look forward to working with the CA DMV to make any improvements and provide any data they need to reinforce the safety and efficiency of our fleet,” a Cruise spokesperson told Insider in an email.

Cruise is cutting down its fleet just a week after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) gave the company, along with Alphabet’s Waymo, the green light to operate driverless taxis 24/7 in San Francisco.

CPUC Commissioner Darcie Houck indicated on the day of the approval that the commission could vote to limit the number of driverless vehicles or revoke the companies’ permits entirely if there are more reports of incidents, The Verge reported.

The DMV also said it reserves the ability to suspend or revoke testing or deployment permits.

A day after the state regulators’ approval, videos of several Cruise cars stalling in the middle of San Francisco’s roads appeared online, with a buildup reportedly involving around 10 Cruise cars.

The company said SF’s Outside Lands Music Festival “posed wireless bandwidth constraints causing delayed connectivity to our vehicles.”

One Cruise vehicle also drove into wet concrete at a construction site.

On Thursday, two Cruise robotaxis were involved in separate collision incidents, one of which occurred while a passenger was inside the vehicle.

The Cruise taxi did not yield to the firetruck, injuring a passenger inside the car, a firefighter at the scene told CBS Bay Area.

Cruise said in a statement posted on X that its vehicle entered the intersection on a green light “and was struck by an emergency vehicle that appeared to be en route to an emergency scene.”

In a separate statement, Cruise said that the buildings in that area make it difficult “for humans and AVs alike” to spot objects around the corner until they’re close to the intersection.


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