On October 24 the California Department of Motor Vehicles officially suspended Cruise LLC’s ability to deploy driverless robotaxis inside the state. That means every Cruise vehicle must have a human in the driver’s seat at all times. It’s not a shocking move to those of us who have been following the situation in San Francisco, with a recent incident reportedly being the straw that broke the camel’s back.
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In an official statement about the suspension of Cruise’s deployment and driverless testing permits, the California DMV said the company’s “vehicles are not safe for the public’s operation.” We know many anti-robotaxi activists in San Francisco and elsewhere are celebrating this declaration after they’ve worked to shine a light on the many dangerous incidents these vehicles have caused.
But reportedly the thing that got Cruise in hot water was an incident where a woman was pinned under a robotaxi in San Francisco. Vice was able to get a hold of the DMV’s Order of Suspension which elaborated on how Cruiser allegedly withheld video footage of the incident.
We covered that pedestrian accident after it happened and how Cruise refused to release onboard video footage of it to the public. Instead, they showed it to a local news reporter who claimed it proved the company’s story that another car hit the pedestrian, who was then flung into the pathway of the robotaxi.
Apparently, that story isn’t entirely true and we’re just not shocked. We can’t say definitely that Cruise tried to deceive investigators and withheld dashcam video, but that’s what the DMV is reportedly accusing it of doing.
All this calls into question the unbelievable claims that robotaxis never do anything that’s unsafe. Anyone who’s used technology enough knows it doesn’t always work correctly and even if it does, the people who created it might not have foreseen some problems. That’s why your phone and the apps on it are constantly being updated, yet you still run into issues.
Cruise has been under NHTSA investigation and has been blamed for traffic jams in two Texas cities, Houston and Austin, not to mention that and worse in San Francisco. It’s time to take off the rose colored glasses and truly scrutinize this experimental technology.
Images via Cruise