Cruise has paused all its driverless operations, the company has announced on LinkedIn and X. The GM-backed self-driving firm explained that it's taking time to examine its "processes, systems and tools" and that it will "reflect on how [it] can better operate in a way that will earn public trust." Cruise has been thrust under the spotlight recently after the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspended its permits to operate driverless vehicles in the state due to several safety related issues. The California Public Utilities Commission also suspended the license giving Cruise the right to charge passengers for robotaxi rides.
(2/3) In that spirit, we have decided to proactively pause driverless operations across all of our fleets while we take time to examine our processes, systems, and tools and reflect on how we can better operate in a way that will earn public trust.
— cruise (@Cruise) October 27, 2023
One of the latest incidents involving a Cruise vehicle happened in early October when a woman was hit by another car and was hurled in front of one of the company's driverless vehicles. Cruise's robotaxi stopped on top of her leg and pinned her underneath until first responders arrived and could extract her. The DMV suspended the company's permits a few weeks afterward.
As CNBC notes, this move comes shortly after GM CEO Mary Barra said the automaker will support Cruise's expansion with "safety" as its "gating factor." TechCrunch says it also comes just a day after an all-hands meeting, wherein CEO Kyle Vogt told his staff that Cruise hasn't paused operations outside of California. To note, the company has driverless fleets in Phoenix, Austin, Houston, Dallas and Miami, as well.
The company didn't elaborate on what examining its tools and systems entail and how exactly it intends to "rebuild public trust." For now, Cruise will only be deploying autonomous vehicles with drivers behind the wheel.