California DMV hits brakes on Cruise's SF driverless fleet after series of fender benders

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Updated San Francisco Bay Area techies who want to hail a driverless Cruise robo-taxi person less to prime from aft officials said it must trim its fleet "immediately" successful nan aftermath of respective incidents, conscionable a time aft a collision betwixt an emergency conveyance and an AV connected Thursday night.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said it was "investigating caller concerning incidents involving Cruise vehicles successful San Francisco" and is successful interaction pinch some Cruise and rule enforcement officials. It said its "primary focus" was "the safe cognition of autonomous vehicles and information of nan nationalist who stock nan roadworthy pinch these vehicles," adding it was investigating to "determine nan facts."

The DMV said successful a connection connected Friday nighttime that nan institution must portion its metropolis fleet successful half, meaning it would person nary much than 50 driverless vehicles successful cognition during nan time and 150 driverless vehicles successful cognition astatine night.

The nighttime before, Cruise vehicles were progressive successful 2 collisions. The first collision was pinch first responders. The institution tweeted that 1 of its cars had "entered nan intersection connected a greenish ray and was struck by an emergency conveyance that appeared to beryllium en way to an emergency scene." It added that its "car contained 1 rider who was treated connected segment and transported via ambulance for what we judge are non-severe injuries."

Cruise said successful an update connected Friday that its AV "did place nan consequence of a collision and initiated a braking maneuver, reducing its speed, but was yet incapable to debar nan collision."

It added: "The AV's expertise to successfully floor plan nan emergency vehicle's way was analyzable by nan truth that nan emergency conveyance was successful nan oncoming lane of traffic, which it had moved into to bypass nan reddish light."

We person asked nan institution for further comment.

In a report [PDF] released earlier this month, nan San Francisco Fire Department said it had logged astir 50 written reports of interference from Cruise and Waymo robo-taxis wherever they had blocked occurrence position ingress/egress aliases transit to locations, and different forms of intrusive driving behavior. The firefighters said successful nan report: "Cruise & Waymo do not disclose counts of unexpected stops aliases different incidents that impeded first responders."

The DMV said of its determination to halve nan Cruise fleet:

It did not mention to circumstantial incidents successful its statement.

In a 2nd collision connected Thursday evening, astatine 26th and Mission Streets, a Dodge Charger collided pinch a Cruise AV. "The human-operated conveyance had apt tally a reddish light, resulting successful nan collision. So, successful this case, nan autonomous conveyance did not look to beryllium astatine responsibility for nan collision," SF constabulary sergeant Kathryn Winters told CBS news. An onlooker told nan outlet nan Dodge Charger "was wholly totaled. I mean it was conscionable wiped. There was fluid leaking everywhere. Airbags were each deployed. It seems scary. Fortunately, nan [driver] was OK and nary injuries."

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The news intends it's 1 measurement forward, 1 measurement backmost for General Motors' robo-fleet, coming 10 days aft it was fixed nan greenish ray to accelerate nan rollout of its self-driving Cruise taxis successful nan US authorities by nan California Public Utilities Commission. The committee had been moving against vocal guidance from police, firefighters, and different metropolis agencies erstwhile it voted to grow nan hours of cognition for GM Cruise and Waymo robo-taxis successful San Francisco.

The very adjacent day, August 11, arsenic we reported astatine nan time, respective of nan robo-rides collapsed down – holding up postulation connected a engaged nighttime – aft nan units reportedly mislaid wireless connectivity. ®

Updated astatine 17.39 UTC connected August 21, 2023, to add:

A spokesperson astatine Cruise sent america a statement:

"Over 1 100 group suffer their lives each time connected American roadways, and countless others are severely injured. We judge it's clear that Cruise positively impacts wide roadworthy safety, and look guardant to moving pinch nan CA DMV to make immoderate improvements and supply immoderate information they request to reenforce nan information and ratio of our fleet."