2 min read

Cruise is Literally Dragging People into the Future

I'm all for Cruise's mission of using autonomous vehicles to help make streets safer. But when I witness their cars breaking traffic rules, running red lights, driving in the bike lane, stopping in oncoming traffic and turning the wrong way onto a 1-way street, it undermines my confidence in their safety claims.

I reported an incident to the CA DMV on September 28th and even tried filing a police report to learn more about that incident, only to find out Cruise is essentially operating citation-free and won't share information. Days later they had a terrible accident where they ran over someone.

Today, the CA DMV revoked Cruise's license for fully autonomous driverless operation, just as Cruise was touting their safety record ahead of the announcement. I'm all for technology and minimal regulation, but when Cruise vehicles are involved in serious accidents and the company is accused of withholding evidence, it's clear that we need stronger oversight.

I hope the CA DMV is moving towards figuring out how to regulate these technologies to safely coexist in SF, instead of letting SF streets serve as unsafe beta testing grounds. The alleged details in this FT article have eroded my trust in Cruise.

Cruise’s cars were “not safe for the public’s operation”, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said as it announced it was revoking its permits to test and deploy its vehicles on public streets. It also accused Cruise of having “misrepresented” details of an accident earlier this month that led to the suspension.

The action follows a DMV investigation into the accident, in which a pedestrian on a crosswalk in San Francisco was hit by another vehicle and thrown into the path of one of Cruise’s driverless cars. The car came to a complete stop with the pedestrian trapped underneath, before attempting a subsequent “pullover manoeuvre” that the DMV said had lasted seven seconds and involved dragging the pedestrian another 20 feet, according to an order of suspension issued by the agency.

According to the DMV’s order, Cruise representatives did not reveal the pullover manoeuvre when meeting with the DMV and California Highway Patrol the next day. Instead, they only provided video from the car’s on-board camera showing the initial collision with the pedestrian and did not disclose the car’s subsequent movement.