Ohio residents may be aware that several automobile manufacturers have vowed to introduce a fully autonomous vehicle within the next few years. General Motors is one of the companies thought to be leading this race, and it believes that its Cruise self-driving subsidiary will be generating about $50 billion in revenue by 2030. Cruise is currently testing robotaxis in Texas and Arizona, but it is no longer evaluating is autonomous cabs in California. That is because the California Department of Motor Vehicles ordered all cruise vehicles off the Golden State’s roads on Oct. 24.
The California DMV suspended Cruise’s autonomous vehicle development and driverless testing permit after a series of auto-pedestrian accidents led officials to conclude that the company’s robotaxis posed a danger to the public. Cruise has been given five days to appeal the suspension. In August, a Cruise robotaxi struck a pedestrian that stepped into a crosswalk when the walk light turned green. In September, a Cruise autonomous cab struck a pedestrian that had been thrown into its path by a hit-and-run accident.
The two accidents that led to Cruise’s testing permit being suspended in California has also prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to launch an investigation. NHTSA officials say that they have learned about two more incidents involving Cruise robotaxis since posting information about the September and October accidents online.
The future is inevitable
The future is inevitable, and the age of the self-driving car is approaching quickly according to most experts. Cruise says that five million miles of testing have proved that autonomous technology is much safer than human drivers, but the actions taken recently by NHTSA and the California DMV suggest that state and federal officials are not convinced by these safety claims.