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San Francisco is about to have fewer robotaxis roaming its hilly streets.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended Cruise’s operating permits, forcing the GM-owned service to pull all cars from the road immediately after a spate of accidents involving its autonomous vehicles. The department claimed Cruise has “misrepresented” the safety of its autonomous technology.
The move isn’t coming out of nowhere; in August, the DMV ordered Cruise to cut its fleet in half as it investigated “recent concerning incidents,” which at the time included a collision between a fire truck and a Cruise car. Then, earlier this month, a hit-and-run collision pushed a pedestrian into the path of a Cruise vehicle, which ran over her and left her in critical condition.
Still, the suspension is obviously a huge blow to Cruise, which won a major expansion in San Francisco from the California Public Utilities Commission in August, along with Google-owned Waymo. The DMV said in its statement that it will not reinstate permits for Cruise until it proves that it can meet safety requirements “to the department’s satisfaction,” concluding that the cars currently pose an “unreasonable risk to the public.”
The news also comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a probe into Cruise last week over the safety measures it takes to protect pedestrians.
“Our teams are currently doing an analysis to identify potential enhancements to the AV’s response to rare circumstances like this one,” the company said in the blog post.