California DMV is investigating a Cruise robotaxi’s collision with a fire truck

Cruise will quickly be deploying fewer autonomous automobiles in San Francisco whereas investigators are trying into “latest regarding incidents” involving its fleet. In keeping with The New York Times and TechCrunch, the California Division of Motor Autos requested the corporate to chop its fleet in half after an incident whereby one among Cruise’s robotaxis collided with a hearth truck at an intersection. The fireplace truck had its sirens and purple lights on and was responding to an emergency on the time, whereas the robotaxi has passengers onboard who sustained non-life-threatening accidents. In one other, maybe much less controversial, incident a number of days earlier than that, a Cruise automobile got stuck in wet concrete

The DMV stated in a press release that its main focus is “the secure operation of autonomous automobiles and security of the general public who share the street with these automobiles.” It additionally added that it “reserves the suitable, following investigation of the info, to droop or revoke testing and/or deployment permits” if it determines that an organization’s automobiles is a risk to public security. The company has requested Cruise to restrict its driverless automobiles in operation to 50 throughout daytime and 150 at night time, at the very least till the investigation is completed. 

In an explanation concerning the collision posted on the corporate’s web site, Cruise’s Common Supervisor for San Francisco, Greg Dietrerich, stated the robotaxi recognized the emergency automobile as quickly because it got here into view. It was additionally in a position to distinguish the fireplace truck’s sirens “as quickly because it was distinguishable from the background noise.” Nonetheless, it wasn’t potential to see automobiles coming from across the nook “till they’re bodily very near the intersection” the place the incident occurred. Additional, the autonomous automobile had bother predicting the fireplace truck’s path, as a result of it moved into the “oncoming lane of visitors” to bypass a purple mild. Dietrerich stated Cruise’s AV recognized the chance of a collision and hit the brake to cut back its velocity, but it surely wasn’t in a position to keep away from the crash fully attributable to these situations. 

The DMV’s request comes only a few days after the California Public Utilities Fee (CPUC) voted in favor of permitting each Cruise and Waymo to cost fares for absolutely driverless rides any time of the day in San Francisco. Earlier than that, Cruise might solely supply fared rides with no security driver onboard in restricted areas of town between 10PM and 6AM. The one commissioner who voted towards the businesses’ paid journey growth argued that the CPUC did not have sufficient info to precisely consider the influence of autonomous automobiles on first responders.