A whistleblower sent an anonymous letter to the California Public Utilities Commission in May claiming that the GM Cruise self-driving robotaxi technology was not ready for commercial deployment, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, further calling into question the safety of the company’s unmanned Chevy Bolt EV test vehicles.
WSJ viewed a copy of the anonymous letter, which was penned by an unnamed individual who describes himself as a long-time employee of the company and a father. The letter claims Cruise’s Chevy Bolt EV-based test vehicles “had regularly experienced incidents where vehicles stopped and were stranded individually or in clusters,” and had also been observed blocking traffic. The person also expressed concern over the company’s internal safety reporting system, noting that they once filed a complaint that was not addressed for more than six months.
The WSJ says it was unable to independently verify the claims in the letter, which also said that other employees had expressed sentiment Cruise was not ready to begin a commercial launch.
Cruise received a permit from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in March to begin charging passengers for rides in its driverless test vehicles in certain areas of San Francisco. A Cruise spokesperson told WSJ that it’s required to report all unsafe behavior from its robotaxis in order to retain the permit and that CPUC can suspend or permanently revoke the permit at its own discretion.
“Our safety record is tracked, reported, and published by multiple government agencies,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We’re proud of it and it speaks for itself.”