Due to “an unreasonable risk to public safety,” the California Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday immediately suspended Cruise from operating driverless taxis in the state.
“Public safety remains the California DMV’s top priority, and the department’s autonomous vehicle regulations provide a framework to facilitate the safe testing and deployment of this technology on California public roads,” the department said in a statement. “When there is an unreasonable risk to public safety, the DMV can immediately suspend or revoke permits.”
A Cruise spokesperson confirmed the suspension to HuffPost, saying the company would pause operations on driverless vehicles in San Francisco.
The DMV cited four regulations Cruise has run afoul of in its decision. In addition to deeming the vehicles unsafe for public operation, regulators accused the company of misrepresenting information about their safety.
A driverless Cruise robotaxi is operating in San Francisco, California, on July 24, 2023.
Just last month, regulators in the state approved an expansion of robotaxi services there, including Cruise (a General Motors subsidiary) and Waymo, an Alphabet-backed competitor.
The abrupt reversal comes in the wake of several high-profile incidents involving Cruise’s autonomous vehicles, including a hit-and-run earlier this month in which a Cruise taxi dragged a pedestrian for 20 feet after they’d been launched into the taxi’s path by a separate car.
The hit-and-run driver remains at large.
Following that crash and a handful of others, Cruise agreed to reduce its autonomous fleet in San Francisco by 50%, capping the taxis to no more than 50 operating during the day and no more than 150 at night.