California DMV is investigating a Cruise robotaxi’s collision with a fire truck | Engadget

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Cruise will briefly be deploying fewer autonomous automobiles in San Francisco whereas investigators are trying into “latest regarding incidents” involving its fleet. In line with The New York Instances and TechCrunch, the California Division of Motor Automobiles requested the corporate to chop its fleet in half after an incident whereby one in every of Cruise’s robotaxis collided with a fire truck at an intersection. The fire truck had its sirens and purple lights on and was responding to an emergency on the time, whereas the robotaxi has passengers onboard who sustained non-life-threatening accidents. In one other, maybe much less controversial, incident a few days earlier than that, a Cruise car acquired caught in moist concrete. 

The DMV mentioned in a assertion that its main focus is “the protected operation of autonomous automobiles and security of the general public who share the highway with these automobiles.” It additionally added that it “reserves the proper, following investigation of the information, to droop or revoke testing and/or deployment permits” if it determines that a firm’s automobiles is a menace to public security. The company has requested Cruise to restrict its driverless automobiles in operation to 50 throughout daytime and 150 at evening, at the very least till the investigation is executed. 
In an evidence in regards to the collision posted on the corporate’s web site, Cruise’s Basic Supervisor for San Francisco, Greg Dietrerich, mentioned the robotaxi recognized the emergency car as quickly because it got here into view. It was additionally in a position to distinguish the fire truck’s sirens “as quickly because it was distinguishable from the background noise.” Nevertheless, it wasn’t attainable to see automobiles coming from across the nook “till they’re bodily very near the intersection” the place the incident occurred. Additional, the autonomous car had hassle predicting the fire truck’s path, as a result of it moved into the “oncoming lane of visitors” to bypass a purple mild. Dietrerich mentioned Cruise’s AV recognized the danger of a collision and hit the brake to scale back its pace, however it wasn’t in a position to keep away from the crash utterly resulting from these situations. 

The DMV’s request comes simply a few days after the California Public Utilities Fee (CPUC) voted in favor of permitting each Cruise and Waymo to cost fares for totally driverless rides any time of the day in San Francisco. Earlier than that, Cruise may solely provide fared rides with no security driver onboard in restricted areas of town between 10PM and 6AM. The one commissioner who voted towards the businesses’ paid experience growth argued that the CPUC did not have sufficient data to precisely consider the affect of autonomous automobiles on first responders.

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