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

Cruise will quickly be deploying fewer autonomous autos in San Francisco whereas investigators are trying into “current regarding incidents” involving its fleet. In accordance with The New York Times and TechCrunch, the California Division of Motor Automobiles 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 pink 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 car got stuck in wet concrete

The DMV mentioned in an announcement that its main focus is “the protected operation of autonomous autos and security of the general public who share the street with these autos.” It additionally added that it “reserves the suitable, following investigation of the details, to droop or revoke testing and/or deployment permits” if it determines that an organization’s autos is a risk to public security. The company has requested Cruise to restrict its driverless autos in operation to 50 throughout daytime and 150 at evening, no less than 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, mentioned the robotaxi recognized the emergency car as quickly because it got here into view. It was additionally capable of distinguish the hearth truck’s sirens “as quickly because it was distinguishable from the background noise.” Nonetheless, it wasn’t attainable to see autos coming from across the nook “till they’re bodily very near the intersection” the place the incident occurred. Additional, the autonomous car had bother predicting the hearth truck’s path, as a result of it moved into the “oncoming lane of site visitors” to bypass a pink gentle. Dietrerich mentioned Cruise’s AV recognized the danger of a collision and hit the brake to scale back its velocity, nevertheless it wasn’t capable of keep away from the crash fully attributable to these circumstances. 

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 the town between 10PM and 6AM. The one commissioner who voted in opposition to the businesses’ paid trip growth argued that the CPUC did not have sufficient data to precisely consider the affect of autonomous autos on first responders.