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GM’s Cruise Resumes Robotaxi Testing in Dallas

ByHuey Yee Ong

Jun 5, 2024
GM’s Cruise Resumes Robotaxi Testing in Dallas

GM’s Cruise Resumes Robotaxi Testing in Dallas

GM’s Cruise is sending out a few self-driving taxis in Dallas this week to check and prove that their technology works well and to regain people’s confidence in it.

Dallas is the second city where Cruise is restarting its services after withdrawing all its vehicles in the U.S. last year, due to an accident in San Francisco involving a pedestrian being hit and dragged by one of its robotaxis.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) promptly suspended Cruise’s operational permits across the state, citing the company’s inadequate handling of the situation and failure to communicate transparently with state and federal regulators about the accident’s details.

Cautious Approach in Dallas

In response, Cruise has adopted a more conservative approach in Dallas, deploying a small fleet of just three vehicles that will not yet carry passengers or drive autonomously. These vehicles are currently being manually driven by human operators to gather critical mapping and road data, an essential step towards gradual automation. Cruise plans to eventually transition to supervised driving, where operations will be measured against undisclosed safety benchmarks.

Previously, Cruise had initiated robotaxi testing in Dallas just before the incident in San Francisco led to the grounding of its entire U.S. fleet. The company had also started a limited robotaxi service in other Texas cities like Austin and Houston, making an early foray into Texas’s burgeoning robotaxi market.

The state of Texas is viewed as a potential hotspot for the commercial adoption of autonomous vehicles, spurred by favorable conditions such as clear weather and a supportive legislative framework. Texas is also a significant testing ground for autonomous trucks, further highlighting its role as a pivotal state in the autonomous vehicle industry.

Despite its focus on Texas, Cruise is anticipated to attempt a relaunch in California, where it is headquartered. The company faces stiff competition from Alphabet’s Waymo, which recently received authorization to operate commercially on San Francisco’s freeways and in Los Angeles. Reports from TechCrunch indicate that Cruise has been in discussions with the California DMV about reinstating its services following the suspension.

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Featured Image courtesy of Elijah Nouvelage/REUTERS

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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