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Cruise’s Self-Driving Taxis to Resume Testing with Safety Drivers

The testing of Cruise’s self-driving taxis, which had been suspended due to accidents, will resume soon.

Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, announced that it will resume testing its self-driving taxis in Phoenix, Arizona. However, there will be no passengers in these vehicles for now. Cruise plans to use human drivers to operate the vehicles initially, and their self-driving system will not be activated for the time being.

The reason for using human drivers in Cruise’s self-driving taxis is to prevent the kind of accidents that have happened to these vehicles in the past.

In October 2023, a Cruise vehicle hit a pedestrian in San Francisco and dragged him more than 20 feet. This incident happened just weeks after another Cruise vehicle collided with a fire truck, an accident that was blamed on the vehicle’s failure to heed the siren.

The accidents caused serious problems for Cruise and forced the company to suspend its self-driving taxi operations across the United States. In fact, Cruise issued a software update for 950 of its vehicles to improve their response to emergency situations.

The accidents also led to a significant exodus of employees from Cruise, including the departure of CEO and co-founder Kyle Vogt and nine other senior executives.

According to The Verge, the goal of resuming testing of the self-driving taxis is to collect more data from the roads to improve the systems and feed the company’s machine learning model.

Cruise’s current goal is to resume testing of self-driving taxis with driver supervision in Phoenix. According to Cruise, Phoenix was chosen because of the city’s strong track record of supporting innovation in the automotive industry and because the company has a large number of employees in the area.

 

Additional Information:

  • Cruise is a self-driving car company that was founded in 2013.
  • Cruise was acquired by General Motors in 2016.
  • Cruise has been testing its self-driving taxis in San Francisco and Phoenix since 2017.
  • Cruise has had several accidents involving its self-driving taxis, including a fatal crash in 2020.
  • Cruise is facing increasing competition from other self-driving car companies, such as Waymo and Argo AI.
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