General Motors just pulled the plug on Cruise

Several days after the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced that it was revoking General Motors’  (GM) – Get Free Report license to operate its driverless Cruise vehicles, the company said that it is halting its driverless operations “across all of our fleets.” 

Cruise currently operates fleets in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Miami and Phoenix. In the announcement to pull its operational license, the California DMV said that Cruise had “misrepresented” the safety of its driverless technology. 

“When there is an unreasonable risk to public safety, the DMV can immediately suspend or revoke permits,” the agency said in a statement. “There is no set time for a suspension.”

Related: What’s stopping Tesla from achieving Level 3 self-driving

Cruise’s self-described proactive pause in its robotaxi operations was done to give the company time to examine its processes and systems. 

“The most important thing for us right now is to take steps to rebuild public trust,” Cruise said in a statement. “Part of this involves taking a hard look inwards and at how we do work at Cruise, even if it means doing things that are uncomfortable or difficult.”

Cruise said that the decision to suspend its operations is unrelated to “any new on-road incidents.” Superviesed autonomous operations, the company said, will continue. 

GM, reporting third-quarter earnings Tuesday, said the company lost nearly $2 billion on Cruise through September of 2023. CEO Mary Barra assured investors of GM’s confidence in the driverless division several times during the earnings call. 

“We do believe that Cruise has tremendous opportunity to grow and expand. Safety will be our gating factor as we do that, and continuing to work with the cities that we’re deploying in,” Barra said. 

Cruise’s decision to halt its operations presents a significant roadblock to the autonomous industry, something Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Free Report CEO Elon Musk is exceptionally bullish about. But amid predictions that an AI-powered car could drive better than a human, safety concerns persist.

“You can never spend the money or the time, or sacrifice the lives to get there,” engineer Michael DeKort told TheStreet in September. “You have to experience to learn and you have to experience over and over again. They will not get far enough to where they’re better than a human.”

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