As of early September 2023, production of the Cruise Origin self-driving robotaxi was said to officially commence in a few days, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was set to decide whether or not to allow the exemptions for the driverless units. Now, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union has asked the government agency to not allow the exemptions for the Cruise Origin to take effect.
Addressed directly to the NHTSA, Teamsters has called for the agency to reject the request of approval from General Motors and its self-driving subsidiary, Cruise. More specifically, the exemptions are in regard to the robotaxi’s lack of pedals, steering wheel, and other manual controls.
“It is dangerous for other motorists, for pedestrians, and for middle-class jobs for Cruise to make a request like this from NHTSA,” Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien stated. “We already have too many examples of the chaos these vehicles cause in our communities. To allow this company to expand its fleet to put even more ‘advanced’ driverless cars on the road would be catastrophic for everyone.”
To the Teamsters Union’s point, there have been quite a few notable incidents with Cruise’s self-driving technology, including a Chevy Bolt EV-based AV unit getting stuck in wet concrete, and another blocking a fire truck.
In its comments, Teamsters mentions the lack of information from General Motors and Cruise on its proposed package delivery service, how it would operate, and how safety concerns would be addressed.
“Given fundamental questions raised concerning the safety record of the petitioner, and ongoing failures to detail components of the Origin’s operations, at this time we do not believe that GM / Cruise can operate a FMVSS-exempted vehicle at the level of safety standards required by federal law and regulation,” Teamsters continued.