California regulator to hold hearing on GM self-driving unit Cruise, ET Auto

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<p>In December, Cruise announced it was cutting 24% of its workforce. GM said last week it was cutting spending by about USD 1 billion at Cruise in 2024.</p>
In December, Cruise announced it was cutting 24% of its workforce. GM said last week it was cutting spending by about USD 1 billion at Cruise in 2024.

The California Public Utilities Commission will hold a hearing Tuesday on a bid by General Motors’ Cruise unit to resolve the agency’s investigation into the robotaxi company’s failure to disclose details of a pedestrian crash involving a self-driving car.

In December, the commission (CPUC) ordered Cruise to appear, citing the company for misleading it “through omission” on the extent and seriousness of the accident and for “misleading public comments” on interactions with the agency.

On Oct. 2, a pedestrian hit by another vehicle was thrown into the path of a self-driving Cruise vehicle and dragged 20 feet. California suspended the testing permit, and Cruise halted all U.S. testing operations.

In December, CPUC said a Cruise official telephoned a commission analyst the day after the crash but “omitted that the Cruise AV had engaged in the pullover maneuver which resulted in the pedestrian being dragged an additional 20 feet at 7 mph.”

Cruise, which has fired nine executives over the October crash, offered USD 75,000 to resolve the investigation to boost its reporting of collisions to the commission as part of its settlement offer, saying “the reckoning for Cruise in the aftermath of the Oct. 2 accident has been swift and extensive.”

The company commissioned a report from law firm Quinn Emanuel that said Cruise did not intend to mislead. A separate technical review by engineering firm Exponent found the Cruise vehicle suffered from mapping errors and incorrectly identified hitting the woman as a side impact collision, the report stated. Cruise has since updated its software.

California suspended the company’s driverless testing license, and Cruise pulled all its U.S. self-driving vehicles from testing. The unit’s CEO Kyle Vogt and co-founder Dan Kan resigned in November.

In December, Cruise announced it was cutting 24% of its workforce. GM said last week it was cutting spending by about USD 1 billion at Cruise in 2024.

The same month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into pedestrian risks at Cruise.

  • Published On Feb 6, 2024 at 05:28 PM IST

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