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Cruise Agrees to Cut back Driverless Automotive Fleet in San Francisco After Crash

Lower than a day after one among its driverless taxis collided with a hearth truck in a San Francisco intersection, Cruise agreed on Friday to a request from state regulators to chop in half the variety of automobiles it was working within the metropolis.

The setback for the driverless automotive firm got here only a week after the California Public Utilities Fee voted to permit the growth of driverless taxi providers from Cruise, which is owned by Basic Motors, and its rival Waymo, which is owned by the Google father or mother firm Alphabet.

On Friday, the California Division of Motor Automobiles, which regulates the security of the driverless vehicles, requested Cruise to half the variety of automobiles it was working in San Francisco. The Cruise automobile’s collision with a hearth truck the day earlier than had injured a passenger within the driverless automotive. Earlier within the week, one other Cruise automobile received caught in newly poured concrete on one other metropolis avenue.

Cruise didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The corporate, which now has 400 automobiles working in San Francisco, can have not more than 50 driverless vehicles working in the course of the day and 150 at evening.

Final weekend, about 10 Cruise automobiles stopped functioning in the midst of a busy avenue in San Francisco’s North Seashore neighborhood, blocking visitors for quarter-hour. Drew Pusateri, a spokesman for Cruise, mentioned in an announcement that the vehicles had issue connecting to the Cruise staff who might need guided them out of the best way due to a spike in mobile visitors attributable to a music pageant within the metropolis’s Golden Gate Park about 4 miles away.

A number of different Cruise automobiles additionally stalled in streets close to the park.

One week in the past, the C.P.U.C. allowed each corporations to cost for rides across the clock anyplace in San Francisco. The C.P.U.C. and the D.M.V. are the 2 companies governing autonomous automobiles in California. An organization has to acquire a allow from the D.M.V. earlier than it applies for driverless deployment permits — the sort that Cruise and Waymo acquired final week — from the utilities fee.

The motor automobiles authority mentioned in an announcement that it’s “investigating current regarding incidents involving Cruise automobiles in San Francisco.” The company requested Cruise to chop the variety of automobiles working in San Francisco “till the investigation is full and Cruise takes applicable corrective actions to enhance street security.”

“The DMV reserves the suitable, following investigation of the info, to droop or revoke testing and/or deployment permits if there may be decided to be an unreasonable threat to public security,” the company mentioned in its assertion.

San Francisco officers have complained since January that autonomous automobiles have been interfering with emergency automobiles. Earlier than this week, officers documented 55 incidents the place a driverless automotive abruptly stopped or interfered with emergency automobiles, together with one occasion with firefighters who have been battling a home hearth.

On Wednesday, metropolis officers filed an injunction asking the C.P.U.C. to quickly halt the driverless taxi growth. Neither firm has detailed how they plan so as to add to their driverless taxi providers.

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