General Motors’ Cruise autonomous division has had a rough few weeks. First, the company temporarily shuttered operations while it determined why its vehicles kept running into things. Earlier this week, Cruise announced a pause in production of its autonomous van, and now, the NHTSA is getting involved with a recall.
Cruise is recalling 950 of its driverless vehicles and said that it might add more to the pile. The action follows an accident in which a Cruise taxi hit a pedestrian and involves the cars’ collision detection subsystem, which could improperly respond after an accident. The company will issue an over-the-air software update to fix the issue, and Cruise said all vehicles will be repaired before returning to the roads.
Even after the fixes, Cruise won’t be able to resume operations without showing some progress in figuring out how things went wrong. California, long an ally of advancements like autonomous vehicles, ordered the company to pull its vehicles from state roads, and Cruise is facing multiple federal investigations into the safety of its vehicles and how it handles accidents.
All of this is a long way to say, again, that autonomous vehicles are nowhere near becoming mainstream. Even if the regulatory hurdles can be cleared, public trust will take time to recover, and consumer-ready semi-autonomous driving systems like Ford’s Blue Cruise and GM’s Super Cruise are good enough that many people likely won’t care about transitioning to a fully autonomous vehicle.
[Image: IV Olga via Shutterstock]
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