As previously covered by GM Authority, a Cruise AV rolled over a pedestrian that had just been struck by a human-driven vehicle in early October 2023. Now, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation in Cruise – General Motors’ self-driving subsidiary – over concerns regarding inadequate pedestrian safety.
According to a report from Reuters, U.S. auto safety regulators have opened a preliminary evaluation into approximately 594 robotaxi units. The administration launched the probe after receiving numerous reports of instances where Cruise AV units equipped with Cruise’s automated driving system may not have exercised appropriate caution around pedestrians.
Notably, this isn’t the first NHTSA investigation that Cruise has been subjected to. Back in December 2022, GM Authority reported that a probe was launched over reports of robotaxi units excessively braking or blocking traffic by coming to a stop altogether. Covering 242 Cruise AVs in total, this came after multiple robotaxi units were struck in the rear by another vehicle following a hard braking maneuver.
Additionally, the NHTSA received several reports where Cruise vehicles became immobilized without onboard human supervision, which could leave the human occupants in danger. In response, Cruise updated its software to help prevent these circumstances from taking place, as the NHTSA stated the recalled software could “incorrectly predict” an oncoming vehicle’s path.
Of course, Cruise has been facing widespread criticism for several incidents involving its self-driving robotaxis as of late, including allegedly blocking emergency vehicles, getting stuck in wet concrete, and causing traffic jams. Naturally, this all comes as Cruise recently expanded its operations across the United States to several major cities.