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Cruise Agrees to Scale back Driverless Automotive Fleet in San Francisco After Crash

Lower than a day after certainly one of its driverless taxis collided with a fireplace truck in a San Francisco intersection, Cruise agreed on Friday to a request from state regulators to chop in half the variety of automobiles it was working within the metropolis.

The setback for the driverless automobile firm got here only a week after the California Public Utilities Fee voted to permit the growth of driverless taxi companies from Cruise, which is owned by Common Motors, and its rival Waymo, which is owned by the Google mum or dad firm Alphabet.

On Friday, the California Division of Motor Automobiles, which regulates the protection of the driverless automobiles, requested Cruise to half the variety of automobiles it was working in San Francisco. The Cruise automobile’s collision with a fireplace truck the day earlier than had injured a passenger within the driverless automobile. Earlier within the week, one other Cruise automobile got stuck in newly poured concrete on one other metropolis road.

Cruise didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The corporate, which now has 400 automobiles working in San Francisco, could have not more than 50 driverless automobiles working throughout the day and 150 at evening.

Final weekend, about 10 Cruise automobiles stopped functioning in the midst of a busy road in San Francisco’s North Seashore neighborhood, blocking site visitors for quarter-hour. Drew Pusateri, a spokesman for Cruise, stated in an announcement that the automobiles had problem connecting to the Cruise workers who might need guided them out of the best way due to a spike in mobile site visitors attributable to a music competition within the metropolis’s Golden Gate Park about 4 miles away.

A number of different Cruise automobiles additionally stalled in streets close to the park.

One week in the past, the C.P.U.C. allowed each corporations to cost for rides across the clock wherever in San Francisco. The C.P.U.C. and the D.M.V. are the 2 companies governing autonomous automobiles in California. An organization has to acquire a allow from the D.M.V. earlier than it applies for driverless deployment permits — the sort that Cruise and Waymo acquired final week — from the utilities fee.

The motor automobiles authority stated in an announcement that it’s “investigating latest regarding incidents involving Cruise automobiles in San Francisco.” The company requested Cruise to chop the variety of automobiles working in San Francisco “till the investigation is full and Cruise takes applicable corrective actions to enhance street security.”

“The DMV reserves the suitable, following investigation of the details, to droop or revoke testing and/or deployment permits if there’s decided to be an unreasonable threat to public security,” the company stated in its assertion.

San Francisco officers have complained since January that autonomous automobiles have been interfering with emergency automobiles. Earlier than this week, officers documented 55 incidents the place a driverless automobile abruptly stopped or interfered with emergency automobiles, together with one occasion with firefighters who had been battling a home fireplace.

On Wednesday, metropolis officers filed an injunction asking the C.P.U.C. to briefly halt the driverless taxi growth. Neither firm has detailed how they plan so as to add to their driverless taxi companies.

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