The company behind those shoddy driverless taxis is taking its entire fleet offline — and yes, that includes the ones operating with so-called "safety drivers."
In an update posted to its company blog, the Cruise autonomous car service said that it was pausing all its operations, driverless or "supervised," as an extension of its late October announcement that it was taking all its self-driving cars off the roads of the Golden Gate City.
Pretty much since opening for business in 2020, the San Francisco-based company's robotaxis have been drawing headlines for all the wrong reasons as they were repeatedly caught nearly crashing, randomly shutting down simultaneously, getting stuck in fresh concrete and even running over animals.
News of this total pause, which also coincides with the General Motors subsidiary hiring a new executive from its parent company to be its chief administrator, comes after a series of unfortunate incidents for Cruise, which included a high-profile hit-and-run incident, its operational license being revoked by the state of California, and layoffs.
These embarrassing incidents made it unsurprising when The Intercept reported last week that Cruise was aware of its safety issues, which included the autonomous vehicles' (AV) inability to recognize children, and still kept them on the roadways of SF, Miami, and other cities.
Recalling All Cars
This extension of the suspension, which the company says will affect about 70 "manual and supervised" cars along with the 950 it recalled last week, is being done to "rebuild public trust" while Cruise investigates why exactly its driverless cars keep acting so strangely.
"Cruise is dedicated to rebuilding trust and operating at the highest standards of safety," the statement reads. "We are committed to keeping our customers, regulators, and the public informed throughout this process."
For years now, people have been predicting that autonomous vehicles will transform cities and, as Cruise said in its first recall update in November, "significantly reduce the number and severity of car collisions, including the more than 40,000 deaths on US roads each year."
But given this embarrassing and dangerous trial run, it seems like those predictions still have a way to go before being realized.
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