Cruise’s robotaxi service in San Francisco hit a major bump in the road on Tuesday after the California DMV suspended permits allowing Cruise’s driverless vehicles to operate in the state.
Cruise, which is backed by General Motors and Honda, is still allowed to test vehicles with a safety driver behind the wheel, and the company has been notified of the steps needed for the permits to be reinstated, the DMV said in a statement.
Reasons cited by the DMV for pulling the permits include the vehicles having been determined by the department as “not safe for the public’s operation” and information related to safety of the vehicles having been “misrepresented.”
The move comes after a Cruise robotaxi was involved in an accident on Oct. 2 that saw a female pedestrian thrown into the path of the robotaxi after she was hit by another vehicle in the adjacent lane whose driver fled the scene.
Cruise’s robotaxi braked hard to avoid the impact but still came into contact with the pedestrian, who according to Cruise entered a crosswalk against a red light and then stopped in the road before being hit by the initial vehicle. Following an initial stop, the robotaxi then continued for a further 20 feet in attempt to pull over, which Cruise said was done to avoid further road safety issues, dragging the pedestrian along with it in the process.
Citing a DMV document, SFGate reported that Cruise employees in a meeting with the DMV following the crash allegedly only showed footage from the robotaxi’s cameras up to the initial stop, and that the DMV only become aware of the alleged additional 20 feet of driving after the meeting.
Cruise’s robotaxis also operate in parts of Austin and Phoenix and are scheduled to expand to Dallas and Houston later this year. It isn’t clear if the suspension in California will affect Cruise’s robotaxi service in other states.
Cruise also announced last week that it plans to eventually expand its service to Japan. The service is scheduled to start in downtown Tokyo by early 2026.
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