Cruise Agrees to Reduce Driverless Car Fleet in San Francisco After Crash

 

Driverless Car

Cruise, a driverless car company owned by General Motors, has agreed to reduce its driverless car fleet in San Francisco after one of its autonomous taxis collided with a fire truck. The incident occurred just a week after California regulators approved expanding driverless taxi services in the city for Cruise and its rival Waymo, owned by Alphabet (Google’s parent company).

 

Collision and Regulatory Response

 

The collision involved a Cruise driverless taxi and a fire truck at an intersection. As a result of this incident and another incident earlier in the week where a Cruise vehicle got stuck in newly poured concrete on a city street, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), responsible for regulating driverless car safety, requested that Cruise reduce its fleet size.

 

Fleet Reduction Details

 

Cruise has agreed to the DMV’s request to cut its fleet size by half. The company currently operates 400 autonomous vehicles in San Francisco. Under the new arrangement, Cruise will have 50 driverless cars operating during the day and 150 at night.

 

Recent Issues and Investigation

 

The collision with the fire truck is one of several recent issues involving Cruise’s driverless vehicles. Last weekend, around 10 Cruise vehicles stopped in the middle of a street due to connectivity problems, causing traffic disruptions. The DMV is investigating these incidents and has stated that it reserves the right to suspend or revoke testing and deployment permits if there’s an unreasonable risk to public safety.

 

Concerns and Regulatory Involvement

 

City officials in San Francisco have raised concerns about autonomous vehicles interfering with emergency vehicles since January. Instances of driverless cars abruptly stopping or interfering with emergency vehicles have been documented. City officials even filed an injunction to halt driverless taxi service expansion temporarily. The CPUC and DMV are the two agencies that oversee self-driving cars in California.

 

Conclusion

 

The collision between a Cruise driverless taxi and a fire truck has prompted regulatory action, leading to Cruise’s agreement to reduce its driverless car fleet in San Francisco. This incident highlights the ongoing challenges and safety concerns surrounding the deployment of autonomous vehicles in real-world urban environments.

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