The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has required Cruise to halt all operations of its driverless taxis in San Francisco after one of the company’s vehicles hit a pedestrian earlier this month.
Cruise’s self-driving suspension is effective immediately, and the DMV says that it doesn’t have a set timeline for the decision, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle. The DMV says it decided to suspend Cruise’s self-driving taxis after the agency determined that “the manufacturer’s vehicles are not safe for the public’s operation.”
The suspension will not fully ban Cruise’s operations, and the company will still be able to test operations with a safety driver present for free or paid rides. The ban comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the DMV both announced investigations into an accident in which a Cruise taxi hit a pedestrian.
“Public safety remains the California DMV’s top priority, and the department’s autonomous vehicle regulations provide a framework to facilitate the safe testing and deployment of this technology on California public roads,” the DMV said in a statement. “When there is an unreasonable risk to public safety, the DMV can immediately suspend or revoke permits.”
(1/6) We learned today at 10:30 am PT of the California DMV’s suspension of our driverless permits. As a result, we will be pausing operations of our driverless AVs in San Francisco. https://t.co/A5HAV2WUv7
— cruise (@Cruise) October 24, 2023
Earlier this month, a Cruise self-driving taxi hit and pinned a pedestrian that had been struck by another vehicle with a human driver, causing multiple traumatic injuries. The Cruise taxi immediately stopped and its hazard lights turned on, and the San Francisco Fire Department was deployed to lift the vehicle off the woman.
In August, the General Motors-owned Cruise and Alphabet-owned Waymo gained approval to operate driverless taxis in San Francisco 24 hours a day. Following two Cruise accidents in the city, authorities required the company to cut its fleet in half.