GM’s Cruise issues recall after robotaxi dragged pedestrian

Cruise LLC, the robotaxi company owned by General Motors Co, retired its automated driving system and rolled out a software update to part of its fleet after one of its vehicles dragged a pedestrian hit by another car in San Francisco last month. past.

The company also said in a blog post Wednesday that it is hiring a chief security officer and has taken steps to determine how the incident occurred and how it was handled.

At a staff meeting Monday, CEO Kyle Vogt said the company would face layoffs, although he did not specify how many of Cruise’s roughly 3,000 employees would be laid off, a spokesman confirmed.

Cruise filed the voluntary recall earlier this month, after California suspended the company’s permit to operate self-driving vehicles in the state over its handling of the incident. The recall involves up to 950 vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In its recall report submitted to NHTSA on Nov. 2, Cruise said that under certain circumstances, its driverless software may have led its vehicles to try to exit traffic when they should have stayed put.

That was the case on October 2, when another car hit a pedestrian and propelled him into the path of a Cruise robotaxi. After initially stopping, Cruise’s vehicle attempted to stop and dragged the person about 20 feet.

The incident prompted a NHTSA defect investigation. The California Department of Motor Vehicles accused the company of withholding video footage of the jumper attempt that it says it learned about through NHTSA. Cruise disputed the DMV’s account of events, saying he showed DMV officials the full video of the incident several times early last month.

In addition to hiring a safety director, Cruise hired an outside law firm to review the Oct. 2 pedestrian accident and hired an outside engineering firm to analyze the root cause of the problem, according to the blog post.

Cruise said in the post that it is “dedicated to building a better Cruise” and “committed to keeping our customers, regulators and the public informed throughout this process.” –Bloomberg

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