Cruise San Francisco to reduce robotaxi fleet by 50%

  • Cruise will reduce its robotaxi fleet by 50% in San Francisco, the California Department of Motor Vehicles told CNBC.
  • “The DMV is in contact with Cruise and law enforcement officials to determine the facts. Pending the investigation, Cruise has requested an immediate 50% reduction in its active fleet of vehicles until Cruise takes appropriate corrective actions to improve road safety.”
  • Cruise’s fleet has been involved in several accidents over the past week.

In an aerial view, Chevrolet Cruze autonomous vehicles are parked in a staging area on June 08, 2023 in San Francisco, California. Autonomous vehicle companies Cruise and Waymo have been testing their vehicles across San Francisco, and residents aren’t happy about the problems the cars are bringing to the city.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Good pictures

Cruise will reduce its robotaxi fleet by 50% in San Francisco, the California Department of Motor Vehicles told CNBC.

Self-driving cars stopped at intersections in San Francisco this week after Cruz autonomous vehicles were involved in several accidents, including a collision with a fire truck Thursday night.

The reduction is a setback for General Motors subsidiary Cruze, which started offering a paid robotaxi service in San Francisco, and Alphabet’s Waymo. Got permission Expand 24-hour driverless operations throughout San Francisco and pick up paying passengers. The cruise is currently operating with a waiting list.

It also highlights the growing debate about driverless cars in San Francisco. Opponents say they’re dangerous and interfere with firefighters and other first responders, while defenders say they’re innovative and cheap and easy to get around town.

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“The DMV is investigating recent incidents involving cruise vehicles in San Francisco,” a DMV spokesperson said in a statement. “The DMV is in contact with Cruise and law enforcement officials to determine the facts. Pending completion of the investigation, it has requested Cruise to immediately reduce its active fleet by 50% until Cruise takes appropriate corrective actions to improve road safety.”

The DMV said that Cruz has agreed to the reduction, and that no more than 50 autonomous vehicles will operate during the day and no more than 150 in the evening. Cruise said In August it operated 300 cars at night and 100 cars during the day.

A spokesman for Cruz was not immediately available for comment outside of business hours.

In a blog post Friday night, Cruises’ San Francisco general manager Greg Dietrerich wrote Thursday that “multiple factors” contributed to the crash involving a cruise vehicle and a fire truck, including buildings at the intersection that make it difficult to see around. He also said that the fire engine was driving in the wrong direction to “ignore” the red light.

“We will continue to work with regulators and city departments on EMV communications to reduce the likelihood of incidents like this happening again,” Dietreich wrote.

Cruise’s fleet has been involved in several incidents that have garnered media attention in the past week. In addition to the crash with the fire truck, a cruise vehicle was reportedly stuck in concrete, and an autonomous vehicle with passengers was hit by a driver. In that incident, the other driver ran a red light. According to Cruz. Last weekend, a cruise vehicle parked outside an outdoor music festival slowed traffic.

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— CNBC’s Laura Kolodny contributed to this story.

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