Why Cruise is keeping half of its driverless fleet off the streets of SF

Other US cities are keeping an eye on what's happening in San Francisco

Lyanne Melendez Image
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Cruise is keeping half of its driverless fleet off the streets of SF
Cruise will now have 150 cars driving in San Francisco at night and only 50 during the day after an order from the DMV, which is investigating "concerning incidents."

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Cruise and its autonomous cars spent the weekend pulling back some of their vehicles on San Francisco streets following a request from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

This comes after two accidents and several incidents in the past week. Cruise said it will work with the DMV to make improvements to its fleet.

VIDEO: Driverless Cruise car struck by SF firetruck, injuring passenger, company says

Cruise says that one of their driverless cars went through a green light and was hit by a San Francisco firetruck on the way to an emergency scene.

Cruise kept half of its 400 autonomous vehicles on the sidelines.

Right now, according to the company, 150 cars are scheduled to drive at night and only 50 vehicles will be on San Francisco streets during the day.

The DMV said it was investigating "concerning incidents."

The first one on Aug. 11 when several Cruise carspaused for 15 minutes at an intersection in the North Beach neighborhood.

Then several days later there was an accident involving a fire department truck, injuring one passenger in the Cruise. Police have yet to determine who was at fault.

MORE: San Francisco asks CPUC to pump brakes on robotaxi expansion, or city may 'suffer serious harm'

Another accident happened in the Mission District where a driver ran a red light and crashed into the Cruise vehicle which had stopped in the middle of the intersection.

In a statement, Cruise said in part:

"...look forward to working with the California DMV to make any improvements and provide any data they need to reinforce the safety and efficiency of our fleet."

This weekend, the autonomous vehicles encountered some minor issues. In Glen Park, city crews had closed the street to fix a water main break. There's video showing a worker standing in the way of the Cruise vehicle as it tries to enter the closed street. Frustrated, the worker begins kicking the tires.

MORE: SFFD chief is fed up with robotaxis interfering with firefighters on the job

Other cities across the country with interest in driverless cars, are monitoring what is happening in San Francisco.

Michael Kanell, reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has written about Cruise's announcement that it would start testing cars with a driver in Atlanta earlier this month.

"They gave us the impression that they were going to do the rollout pretty steadily and slowly and not all at once so I wouldn't expect a big wave of them," said Kanell.

Cruise is doing the same in Austin and other cities.

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