General Motors’ autonomous vehicle division, Cruise, recently put forward a major operational decision. This GM-owned robotaxi company declared a suspension of all its operations on public roads. This means that not only their autonomous vehicles but also their manually driven cars will refrain from operating. The company’s decision serves as an extension to the pause in driverless operations initiated last month following a concerning incident with a pedestrian.
Cruise made this call with the aim of diligently addressing safety concerns following the October incident wherein a woman in San Francisco was dragged 20 feet by a self-driving Cruise vehicle after being struck by a human-operated vehicle. The company has expanded the scope of its investigation by involving Exponent, an external consulting firm.
During its recent quarterly meeting, Cruise reiterated its commitment to enhancing safety and transparency. Cruise board member and GM’s executive vice president of legal and policy, Craig Glidden, will expand his role to chief administrative officer for Cruise, overseeing key operational improvements. To strengthen its safety strategy, Cruise is bringing on board a permanent chief safety officer and a third-party safety expert to conduct a comprehensive safety assessment.
The robotaxi company has also broadened the scope of Exponent’s technical root cause analysis of the October incident to include a review of Cruise’s safety systems and technology. In light of these developments, Cruise has extended its operational pause to all supervised and manual autonomous vehicle (AV) operations in the U.S., impacting approximately 70 vehicles. The company’s goal is to rebuild public trust while conducting a full safety review.
This announcement comes shortly after Cruise’s recall of 950 robotaxi vehicles. This recall was prompted by growing public scrutiny of its autonomous vehicles, which had been operating in several major cities, such as San Francisco, Austin, Phoenix, Miami, and Houston. Cruise also halted production of its driverless vans earlier this month.