TechDogs-"Will Cruise Continue To Cruise Or Be The One To Bring AV Businesses To Halt?"

Emerging Technology

Will Cruise Continue To Cruise Or Be The One To Bring AV Businesses To Halt?

By TD NewsDesk

TD NewsDesk

Updated on Mon, Aug 21, 2023

Overall Rating
EVs (Electric Vehicles) and AVs (Autonomous Vehicles) are in full swing!

As both these technologies find new use cases, the scope of the industry keeps expanding. This is why companies in the industry are optimistic and look forward to stamp their authority by scaling up!

General Motors-owned Cruise recently expanded the coverage area of its robotaxi services in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The company also made announcements to introduce its service to more cities and increase coverage area in existing cities.

Cruise, which is headquartered in San Francisco and grew from the city, is now facing flak back home due to erroneous operations.

What happened? Let’s explore:

What Happened With Cruise’s Robotaxi Services?

  • According to reports, on Thursday (August 17, 2023) somewhere after 10 pm a self-driving Cruise vehicle was involved in an accident with a fire truck which was believed to be responding to an emergency.

  • This led to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) launching an investigation regarding the “recent concerning incidents” pertaining to Cruise vehicles in San Francisco.

  • The agency even requested the company to reduce its operations in the state, calling for Cruise to reduce its robotaxi fleet by 50%. This would mean that the company could deploy not more than 50 vehicles in the day and 150 at night.

  • Post the incident, Cruise even posted on X (formerly Twitter) providing details in a 5-part post.

TechDogs-"A Screenshot Of The X Post By Cruise"  

Why is Cruise Facing Flak?

  • This episode was the latest in a string of incidents relating to problems with self-driving vehicles in the last few weeks. This includes cars stalling, malfunctioning at junctions and railway lines, blocking traffic, driving into city paving projects and getting stuck in wet concrete and more.

  • These incidents are the ones that took place after the company, along with Google’s Waymo, were given permission to expand its operations in the city by the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC).

  • The permission means that both companies can operate 24/7, charge for rides and expand their fleets. The approval was given amidst strong opposition by residents and city officials highlighting the various instances robotaxis causes problems.

TechDogs-"An Image Of A Cruise Vehicle On The Road"  

What Was Said About The Incident?

  • The California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) explained that it had the right to suspend or revoke the testing or deployment permits if the company’s vehicles pose public safety risks, post investigations. It said, “Safety of the traveling public is the California DMV’s top priority,” and added, “The primary focus of the DMV’s regulations is the safe operation of autonomous vehicles and safety of the public who share the road with these vehicles.”

  • In a blog post, Cruise clarified that, “The Cruise AV did identify the risk of a collision and initiated a braking maneuver, reducing its speed, but was ultimately unable to avoid the collision.”

  • Cruise added, “During the course of more than 3 million miles of fully autonomous driving in San Francisco we’ve seen an enormous number of emergency vehicles – more than 168,000 interactions just in the first 7 months of this year alone … We realize that we’ll always encounter challenging situations, which is why continuous improvement is central to our work. We will continue to work in partnership with regulators and city departments on EMV interactions to reduce the likelihood of incidents like these happening again.”

What do you think of the DMV’s request to cut Cruise’s operational fleet in half? Do you think the company should be made to pause operations until its autonomous cars are deemed safe for the public?

Let us know in the comments below!

First published on Mon, Aug 21, 2023

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Emerging Technology Autonomous Vehicles Electric Vehicles AV EV Self-driving Vehicles Cruise General Motors GM Waymo Google DMV San Francisco

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