Cruise resumes robotaxi tests after one of its cars ran someone over

Cruise has announced that it’s resuming tests for its fleet of self-driving taxis in Phoenix, Arizona , though not with passengers just yet. The autonomous vehicle maker says it will start with humans behind the wheel, with no passengers and no autonomous driving mechanisms engaged.

In California, lawmakers banned the GM subsidiary from operating its vehicles in the state after one of them ran over a San Francisco pedestrian and dragged them over 20 feet in October, after another vehicle threw the victim into the robotaxi’s path. That was just weeks after another incident where one of Cruise’s vehicles collided with a fire truck after failing to properly yield to the truck’s emergency signals.

Cruise says its intent with renewed testing is to help improve its systems by collecting more road data to continue feeding its machine learning model, and that it hopes to eventually resume human-supervised autonomous tests in Phoenix. It picked the city, it says, based on its “strong history” of supporting automotive innovation and because many of its employees reside there.

Cruise has a lot of work ahead to prove that its driverless cars are ready to fully return to the road. To our knowledge, California hasn’t lifted the original ban it imposed, though the state has apparently made the company’s path to redemption clear. “The DMV has provided Cruise with the steps needed to apply to reinstate its suspended permits,” the California Department of Motor Vehicles wrote last October. Addressing those concerns, whatever they are, would be a big step toward establishing some goodwill.


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