When it comes to self-driving technologies, one of the biggest concerns for consumers is safety, which is no surprise given how uncomfortable it can be to ride in a vehicle that drives and steers on its own. To help customers stay at ease, GM’s Cruise has just crossed the 500,000-driverless-mile mark without any major incidents. To commemorate this event, Cruise has released its first Safety Report to publicly demonstrate how hard GM has been working on this technology.
This safety report (PDF) is broken down into six major sections, with details about how each of these elements helps Cruise increase its safety:
- Safety Philosophy
- Using the Build-Up Approach, Cruise starts small, learns from its mistakes, and expands capabilities after the ricks are understood and addressed.
- Safety by Design
- To compile with Operational Design Domain (ODD) regulations, Cruise constrains its Driverless Fleet to specific locations, conditions, or hours until it has been determined that the vehicles meet defined performance thresholds.
- Robust Verification and Validation
- Some units operate under driver supervision as an extra precaution.
- Safe Launch
- Before a program expansion, all conditions and variables are studied to ensure minimal risk
- Passenger Experience
- Customers must adhere to Cruise’s Terms of Service before they can create an account to use the driverless service
- Live Operational Support
- The Cruise service has multiple operators to ensure constant safety for passengers.
This is all great news for GM’s robotaxi service, as it helps boost consumer confidence in letting computers handle the driving for passengers. However, it’s important to note that despite not causing an accident itself, Cruise hasn’t had a squeaky clean record. Incidents include blocking traffic in San Francisco a few times, as well as getting T-boned by a Toyota Prius at an intersection.