General Motors’ Cruise autonomous vehicle unit is recalling all 950 cars to update its software after one of them dragged a pedestrian to the side of a San Francisco street in early October. The company said Wednesday in documents posted by federal safety regulators that with the updated software, cruise vehicles will remain stationary if a similar incident occurs in the future. The Oct. 2 crash prompted Cruise to suspend driverless operations nationwide after regulators in California found that its cars posed a threat to public safety, the AP reports. The state Department of Motor Vehicles has revoked the license for Cruise, which transported passengers throughout San Francisco without a human driver.
Cruise says in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents that it has already updated software in test vehicles supervised by human safety drivers. The driverless fleet will receive the new software before resuming operations, the company said. On Wednesday, the GM unit said in a statement that it had issued the recall even though it determined that a similar accident with a risk of serious injury could happen again every 10 to 100 million miles without the update. “As our software continues to improve, it is likely that we will file additional recalls to inform both NHTSA and the public of updates to improve the safety of our fleet,” the statement said.
Cruise said it will appoint a chief safety officer, hire a law firm to review its response to the Oct. 2 crash, appoint an outside engineering firm to find the technical cause, and adopt company-wide “pillars” to focus on safety and transparency. . Problems at Cruise could delay the deployment of fully autonomous vehicles. It could also bring stronger federal regulation of the vehicles, which carry passengers, in more cities across the country. GM recently halted production of the Origin, a fully autonomous vehicle designed for Cruise to carry multiple passengers. The company is expected to resume production at a factory in the Detroit area once Cruise resumes autonomous driving.
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