GM Recalls All Cruises for Software Change After Injuries

California revoked the vehicle's license
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 8, 2023 5:55 PM CST
GM Recalls All Cruises for Software Change After Injuries
A Cruise AV, General Motor's autonomous electric Bolt EV, is displayed in Detroit in 2019.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

General Motors' Cruise autonomous vehicle unit is recalling all 950 of its cars to update software after one of them dragged a pedestrian to the side of a San Francisco street in early October. The company said in documents posted by federal safety regulators on Wednesday that with the updated software, Cruise vehicles will remain stationary should a similar incident occur in the future. The Oct. 2 crash prompted Cruise to suspend driverless operations nationwide after California regulators found that its cars posed a danger to public safety, the AP reports. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the license for Cruise, which was transporting passengers without human drivers throughout San Francisco.

Cruise says in documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it already has updated software in test vehicles that are being supervised by human safety drivers. The driverless fleet will get the new software before resuming operations, the company says. In a statement Wednesday, the GM unit said that it did the recall even though it determined that a similar crash with a risk of serious injury could happen again every 10 million to 100 million miles without the update. "As our software continues to improve, it is likely we will file additional recalls to inform both NHTSA and the public of updates to enhance safety across our fleet," the statement said.

Cruise said it will add a chief safety officer, hire a law firm to review its response to the Oct. 2 crash, appoint a third-party engineering firm to find the technical cause, and adopt companywide "pillars" to focus on safety and transparency. Problems at Cruise could slow the deployment of fully autonomous vehicles. It also could bring stronger federal regulation of the vehicles, which are carrying passengers in more cities nationwide. GM recently paused production of the Origin, a fully autonomous vehicle designed for Cruise to carry multiple passengers. The company is expected to resume production at a Detroit-area factory once Cruise resumes autonomous ride-hailing.

(More driverless cars stories.)

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