There are two accidents involving driverless cars from Cruise in California. The traffic authority intervenes. Now the parent company is drawing conclusions.
After the robotaxi company Cruise had to stop trips without people behind the wheel, its parent company General Motors is also suspending production of a future generation of vehicles without a steering wheel and pedals.
After the production of a small number of pre-series vehicles, production of the vehicles with the name “Origin” will be temporarily stopped, a GM spokesman said. He gave no indication of how quickly she might be resumed.
The “Origin” vehicles were developed together with Honda and, according to current plans, will also be used in Japan in a few years. There is no space for a driver in the rectangular cars with sliding doors.
Ban after accidents
After two accidents involving pedestrians, the California Department of Transportation banned Cruise from sending cars onto San Francisco streets without a safety driver. The GM subsidiary then suspended driverless operations at other locations. Vehicles from competitor Waymo are still allowed to drive driverless through San Francisco.
The authority’s decision was triggered in particular by an accident at the beginning of October, in which a woman came under a cruise vehicle and was dragged several meters by the car. According to the accident report, the pedestrian was initially hit by another vehicle with a human behind the wheel and thrown in front of the self-driving car. The self-driving car braked immediately – but was no longer able to prevent the collision.
The traffic authority is particularly bothered by what happened afterwards. The robotaxi initially stopped, but then tried to pull over to the side of the road. The woman stuck under the car was dragged around six meters and the car reached a speed of a good eleven kilometers per hour, the authorities’ decision said. In addition, Cruise initially portrayed the accident in a more harmless way. The company is now having its initial communications with authorities following the accident reviewed.