Regulators claim Cruise misrepresented accident by with-holding video footage.
General Motors’ autonomous company investigated after its vehicle drags pedestrian under its wheels.
General Motors’ Cruise suspends its San Francisco robo-taxi service after a pedestrian was dragged underneath one of the driverless vehicles’ wheels following a collision.
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles cites safety concerns, claiming the company had misrepresented what had happened after the incident, the BBC reports. Waymo is the other robo-taxi company that has been granted permission to run commercial services in the city.
Cruise said in a statement it would be “pausing operations in the city.” The incident early this month saw a pedestrian struck by a hit-and-run driver and then propelled into the path of a Cruise car. According to the company, the car “detected a collision” and stopped. It then “attempted to pull over to avoid causing further road safety issues, pulling the individual forward approximately 20 feet.”
In a statement, the DMV says: “During the course of performing the hard-braking maneuver, the AV collided with and ran over the pedestrian. After coming to a complete
stop, the AV vehicle subsequently attempted to perform a pullover maneuver while the pedestrian was underneath the vehicle.”
It also accuses Cruise of misrepresenting what happened. While meeting with Cruise to assess footage of the incident, the DMV reports “the video footage presented to the department ended with the AV’s initial stop following the hard-braking maneuver. Footage of the subsequent movement of the AV to perform a pullover maneuver was not shown to the department.” It added that the incident “indicates that Cruise’s vehicles may lack the ability to respond in a safe and appropriate manner during incidents involving a pedestrian.”
Cruise responds by saying: “We have stayed in close contact with regulators to answer their questions and assisted the police with identifying the vehicle of the hit-and-run driver.”
This incident follows another in which one of its robo-taxis was involved in a crash with a fire engine in August and the company was asked to halve its fleet of cars on the streets. Representatives of emergency services in the city have also criticized the company’s cars for blocking roads.