Cruise Pauses All Driverless Robotaxi Operations To ‘Rebuild Public Trust’


Following the suspension of its deployment and driverless testing permits by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Cruise has announced that it is pausing all driverless operations across multiple cities. This decision effectively ends Cruise’s robotaxi operations in the state and means that its driverless operations in Austin, Houston, Phoenix, and Miami have come to a halt. The company has stated that it will take this time to carefully examine its processes, systems, and tools to operate in a way that will regain public trust. However, Cruise will continue with supervised autonomous vehicle operations, ensuring that a human safety operator is present.

Key Takeaway

Cruise has decided to pause all driverless operations in multiple cities, including those in Texas and Arizona, after the California DMV suspended its permits. The company intends to rebuild public trust by closely examining its processes and systems. However, supervised autonomous vehicle operations will continue with the presence of a human safety operator.

Cruise’s Change of Plans After Internal Communications

Interestingly, Cruise’s decision comes as a surprise to its employees, as it contradicts the information shared during an all-hands meeting held just a day before. In that meeting, Cruise’s CEO Kyle Vogt reassured the staff that operations would continue outside of California and did not indicate any plans for a pause. Instead, the focus was on re-evaluating the company’s communication with regulators to ensure clarity.

Background on the Suspension by the California DMV

The California DMV suspended Cruise’s permits on October 23, approximately three weeks after an incident involving a pedestrian and a human-driven vehicle. The DMV claimed that Cruise had withheld video footage from its investigation into the incident. While Cruise maintained that it had provided the entire video footage, it acknowledged that it could have been more thorough in explaining the sequence of events. The incident prompted the DMV to reduce Cruise’s fleet by 50% and eventually led to the suspension of its permits.

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