The California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended General Motors’ Cruises’ autonomous vehicle deployment and driverless testing permits across the state, citing safety concerns and incidents.
“When there is an unreasonable risk to public safety, the DMV can immediately suspend or revoke permits,” California DMV wrote in a press release.
DMV’s suspension was based on several factors, including “manufacturer’s vehicles are not safe for the public’s operation” and “manufacturer has misrepresented any information related to the safety of the autonomous technology of its vehicles.”
Also, DMV’s decision was based on the policy that “Any act or omission of the manufacturer or one of its agents, employees, contractors, or designees which the department finds makes the conduct of autonomous vehicle testing on public roads by the manufacturer an unreasonable risk to the public.”
“We learned today at 10:30 am PT of the California DMV’s suspension of our driverless permits,” Cruise spokesperson Hannah Lindow told CNBC, adding all Cruise robotaxis vehicles in San Francisco have been halted.
Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into pedestrian injuries by Cruise vehicles. The safety-defect probe spans 600 driverless cars the company operates.
The Wall Street Journal noted, “A California agency last year also looked into an anonymous letter claiming Cruise was preparing to launch its robotaxi service prematurely.”
In August, the California DMV forced Cruise to reduce its robotaxi fleet by half over “concerning incidents” surrounding the vehicles, such as one vehicle colliding with a firetruck.
In September, an incident in Austin, Texas, occurred when nearly two dozen of these robotaxis sparked traffic mayhem in the downtown area.
Self-driving cars cause a traffic jam in Austin, Texas.
Shocking footage from Austin showed around 20 Cruise-operated Chevrolet Bolts causing traffic mayhem.
“Are you telling me they have no way to get out of this?” a man shouts in the video.
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) September 23, 2023
It appears the fringe group “Safe Street Rebel” has won in its AI crusade against Cruise. The group launched multiple ‘coning’ attacks on the robotaxis in recent months.
Week of Cone – Night One was a hit! Keep sending in your coning submissions 🦄 pic.twitter.com/c4KZLbFvhy
— Safe Street Rebel (@SafeStreetRebel) July 6, 2023
It’s still uncertain whether Cruise’s operations in Miami, Nashville, and other cities will be halted following today’s suspension in California.