Thanks to harsh braking and vehicles turning into unexpected obstacles on the road.
After years of working on its fleet of autonomous Robotaxi vehicles, GM’s Cruise hit the streets of California earlier this year. Things aren’t going well, though, and after a September recall, we’re now hearing that NHTSA is investigating the service for safety concerns.
It’s worth noting that any new technology, especially one as advanced as autonomous taxi vehicles, is sure to hit a few bumps along the way. That said, GM’s cruise service continues to have hiccups.
Over the past eight months, dozens of Cruise vehicles have crowded together and come to a complete stop on the highways, causing huge traffic jams. And in July, one was involved in a car accident that resulted in injuries. This led to an investigation by California regulators, and GM later updated the software on all of its vehicles. However, it appears that it was too little too late, as NHTSA is now involved.
US regulators NHTSA are reportedly looking into the service for security reasons. More specifically, due to countless reports of vehicles stopping in the middle of the road, braking excessively and hard for no reason, and other situations resulting in traffic jams and other safety issues.
Situations like stalled vehicles and stranded passengers are completely separate from erratic and “inappropriate” driving behavior, but both cause unexpected obstacles on the road. It’s those bumps in the road that worry regulators. We’ll have to wait and see what comes out of the investigation.
As a reminder, these autonomous taxis cannot drive freely in the city. They are limited to very select streets at low speeds, can only drive at night, and only during optimal weather conditions. That said, GM recently expanded into two new cities, with more markets coming in 2023.