The state of California could fine GM robotaxi and autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise after one of its AVs dragged a pedestrian who had been struck and thrown by another vehicle.
The fines will not be for the October dragging incident itself, according to Reuters, but for allegedly failing to disclose all of the details of the incident at the time.
A Cruise telephone call to a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) analyst “omitted that the Cruise AV had engaged in the pullover maneuver which resulted in the pedestrian being dragged an additional 20 feet at 7 mph (11.27 km per hour),” the Commission said in an order requiring representatives from the GM subsidiary to appear at a February 6th hearing.
Additionally, while the self-driving vehicle company claims it immediately provided video of the accident to the Commission, “the full video was shared only in response to a data request more than two weeks after the incident,” according to the government analyst’s statement.
Cruise has been struggling for several months with the fallout from the accident, first pausing all driverless operations, but continuing to operate its taxi fleet with a safety driver on board, then suspending operations entirely. CEO and founder Kyle Vogt resigned in late November, with co-founder and CPO Daniel Kan also resigning from his position just one day later.
Since then, GM has scaled back its subsidiary’s current and future operations considerably. The ground-up AV design originally planned as a replacement for the current driverless Chevy Bolt EV units used by the company, the Origin, will not be built in 2024. Additionally, once operations restart, they will be confined to a single city, with the specific metropolis not yet publicly revealed. The subsidiary’s budget will also be reduced, further limiting the scope of its near-future plans.
The incident and the allegedly misleading behavior by the robotaxi service are likely to lead to fines and unspecified “sanctions” against Cruise following the hearing.