- Cruise to halve its robotaxi fleet after a series of accidents in San Francisco.
- DMV's ongoing investigation prompts Cruise to scale down operations for safety.
- Controversies spark citywide debate on the safety of autonomous vehicles.
In a surprising turn of events, Cruise is cutting its robotaxi presence in San Francisco by half. The California DMV broke the news, sharing it with CNBC. This significant decision follows a series of unfortunate events, where Cruise's self-driving cars found themselves in the center of mishaps, including one with a fire truck after getting caught in an intersection.
Cruise, an offshoot of General Motors, had recently expanded its paid robotaxi service in the city, working hand-in-hand with Alphabet's Waymo. This ambitious endeavor allowed them to carry passengers day and night throughout San Francisco. Despite this growth, they still maintained an exclusive feel with their ongoing waitlist.
Yet, these events have reignited the city's discussion on the safety and utility of autonomous vehicles. Critics argue their unpredictability makes them a potential hazard, especially to emergency services. However, supporters see them as a game-changer, promising a cheaper and more efficient transportation alternative.
Responding to the incidents, the DMV released a statement expressing their concerns. They emphasized their ongoing investigation into the recent accidents, urging Cruise to scale down their operations. Consequently, Cruise has complied, restricting their operations to 50 vehicles during daylight and 150 at night, a noticeable reduction from their previously reported numbers.
However, the company isn't silent on the matter. Cruise's San Francisco general manager, Greg Dietrerich, shared insights on a particular accident. He pointed out several contributing factors, including obscured views due to buildings and a firetruck trying to skirt a traffic light. Dietrerich pledged the company's commitment to working closely with city regulators to minimize future occurrences.
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