Federal Regulators Launch Investigation into Cruise After Pedestrian Injuries

         

Summary: Federal regulators have initiated a preliminary investigation into Cruise autonomous cars following reports of pedestrian injuries. The probe comes after two incidents involving pedestrian injuries and Cruise vehicles were reported, prompting concerns about the cars’ caution around pedestrians. The investigation was opened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), who identified the incidents through videos posted on public websites. Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, stated that they have been cooperating with the NHTSA and will continue to do so.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a preliminary investigation into Cruise, the autonomous vehicle subsidiary of General Motors. The probe focuses on whether Cruise’s autonomous cars exercised ‘appropriate caution’ in and around pedestrians. This comes after two incidents involving pedestrian injuries and Cruise vehicles were reported. The NHTSA identified these incidents through videos posted on public websites.

The first incident occurred on October 2, when a pedestrian was hit by another vehicle and thrown into the path of a driverless Cruise car. This incident matches the details of a hit-and-run crash in San Francisco that resulted in the pedestrian being taken to the hospital. Cruise stated that their autonomous vehicle braked aggressively and cooperated with law enforcement to identify the hit-and-run driver. The NHTSA was provided with video footage of the incident, and no further questions were raised.

The second incident took place in August, where a Cruise autonomous vehicle struck a pedestrian who stepped into a crosswalk after the stoplight had turned green. The vehicle was allowed to proceed at a speed of approximately 1.4 miles per hour. The pedestrian was transported by emergency medical services after experiencing knee pain. Cruise mentioned that they have not been contacted by the NHTSA regarding this incident or the two incidents shared on social media. However, the company reassured that their safety record, covering 5 million miles, outperforms human drivers, especially considering the rise in pedestrian injuries and deaths. Cruise remains in regular communication with the NHTSA and intends to cooperate with any requests for information from the agency.

Cruise and Alphabet subsidiary Waymo have been deploying their autonomous vehicles in San Francisco for several months. While proponents argue that driverless vehicles are safer than human-driven ones, critics have raised concerns about incidents where autonomous vehicles obstruct emergency vehicles. Other companies, including some from China, are also testing driverless vehicles on San Francisco streets.

Tags: Federal Regulator, Investigation, Cruise, Pedestrian Injuries, Autonomous Vehicles, General Motors, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, San Francisco

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