Cruise has officially halted all of its autonomous operations, as disclosed in a company announcement on LinkedIn and X. This pause comes as the GM-backed self-driving firm embarks on a thorough examination of its “processes, systems, and tools” with the intention of enhancing its operations to regain public trust. Cruise’s recent spotlight was intensified by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspending its permits for driverless vehicle operation in the state due to safety concerns. Furthermore, the California Public Utilities Commission suspended Cruise’s license, preventing them from offering robotaxi services to passengers.
(1/3) The most important thing for us right now is to take steps to rebuild public trust. Part of this involves taking a hard look inwards and at how we do work at Cruise, even if it means doing things that are uncomfortable or difficult.
— cruise (@Cruise) October 27, 2023
In early October, there was a concerning incident involving a Cruise vehicle when a woman was struck by another car and thrown in front of one of the company’s driverless vehicles. The robotaxi came to a halt on top of her leg, trapping her underneath until first responders could free her. Subsequently, the DMV suspended Cruise’s permits a few weeks later.
This decision to pause operations follows GM CEO Mary Barra’s recent commitment to prioritize “safety” as the guiding principle for Cruise’s expansion. Furthermore, as reported by TechCrunch, the announcement comes shortly after an all-hands meeting where CEO Kyle Vogt clarified that Cruise’s operations continue outside of California, where they have driverless fleets in Phoenix, Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Miami.
While specific details about the assessment of their tools and systems and the plan to “rebuild public trust” remain undisclosed, Cruise will temporarily deploy autonomous vehicles with human drivers in control.