GM-owned automated driving company Cruise has recalled and updated its software after two people were injured in a crash involving one of its Chevy Bolt EV test vehicles in San Francisco in June, Reuters reports.
A review of Cruise’s previous software version conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicated the system may “incorrectly predict another vehicle’s path or be insufficiently reactive to the sudden path change of a road user,” when making an unprotected left turn. The San Francisco crash happened as one of Cruise’s test vehicles was attempting to make a left turn at an intersection when a vehicle continued straight through the intersection, despite being in the oncoming turn lane.
The software update was pushed to Cruise’s 80-vehicle fleet in July, with the company saying its prototypes are now “even better equipped to prevent this singular, exceptional event.” The automaker also prevented its vehicles from making unprotected left-hand turns after the crash in June and gradually reintroduced them following the software update last month.
The error that caused the crash led the Chevy Bolt EV test vehicle to suddenly apply the brakes when it sensed the vehicle passing through the intersection. In a statement, the company said the unique circumstance of the accident meant the vehicle “had to decide between two different risk scenarios and chose the one with the least potential for a serious collision at the time, before the oncoming vehicle’s sudden change of direction.” A police report also placed the majority of the fault on the other vehicle in the crash, as it was traveling 40 mph in a 25 mph zone.
Cruise said this month that its vehicles had driven a collective 250,000 miles in a geofenced portion of San Francisco. The company is now in discussions with regulators about expanding its fleet of Chevy Bolt EVs in San Francisco, expanding the scope of its operating hours and, eventually, deploying the driverless Cruise Origin robotaxi in the city.