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GM’s Cruise halts entire robotaxi fleet after California suspension

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By Dana Hull and David Welch | Bloomberg

General Motors Co.’s driverless taxi unit Cruise has grounded its entire fleet just days after its license was suspended by California, in a major setback for the company which has been laying the groundwork to expand to multiple US cities and Japan.

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday suspended Cruise from operating driverless cars in the state and accused the company of withholding crucial video of an accident involving a pedestrian in San Francisco.

“The most important thing for us right now is to take steps to rebuild public trust,” Cruise said in a post on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. “In that spirit, we have decided to proactively pause driverless operations across all of our fleets.”

Federal regulators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have also opened an investigation into Cruise. Cruise has been expanding to other cities including Austin and Phoenix.

Read More: DMV shuts down Cruise robotaxis in San Francisco over safety concerns

In August, California’s Public Utilities Commission voted 3 to 1 to allow Cruise and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo to charge riders fares for driverless rides in the dense and notoriously hilly city. But the expanded operations by Cruise were quickly marred by several high profile incidents, including one where a person landed in front of a Cruise taxi after being hit by another car.

The robotaxi braked hard but ran over the person. The vehicle then tried to pull over as a safety maneuver but continued driving for 20 feet at a speed of up to seven miles per hour with the pedestrian still under the car, the DMV said. That may have caused further injury, the agency said.

The DMV says Cruise didn’t disclose video of the attempted pullover maneuver when it shared footage of the accident with agency officials on Oct. 3. The agency said it learned of the vehicle’s subsequent movement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and then requested that Cruise provide the additional footage. The company’s omission hinders the agency’s ability to evaluate the safety of its autonomous vehicles, the DMV said.

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