Cruise Pauses Autonomous Vehicle Operations Nationwide After CA DMV Revokes Permits

Cruise says it aims to rebuild trust after multiple incidents with its robotaxis

(Images: General Motors | Cruise LLC)

GM subsidiary Cruise decided to halt its autonomous vehicle operations Thursday.

After California’s Department of Motor Vehicles opted to pull Cruise’s permits to operate driverless vehicles in the wake of multiple recent incidents including a collision where a pedestrian was dragged 20 feet by an autonomous vehicle, the company said it would “take steps to rebuild public trust”.

According to the company’s statement via Twitter/X, it will keep its supervised autonomous vehicle operations running (i.e. cars will have a human monitor behind the wheel). In the spirit of repairing its reputation, Cruise said “we have decided to proactively pause driverless operations across all of our fleets while we take time to examine our processes, systems, and tools and reflect on how we can better operate in a way that will earn public trust.”

While there is some correlation, Cruise insists it is not pausing its driverless car activity because of recent incidents. “We think it’s the right thing to do during a period when we need to be extra vigilant when it comes to risk,” the statement continued, while again emphasizing the need to regain customers’ confidence.

Outside San Francisco, Cruise offered rides in several large cities, including Austin, Dallas, Houston, Miami and Phoenix.

Since it first acquired Cruise LLC in 2016, General Motors considered it a bellwether in the world of driverless vehicles. Just this summer, CEO Mary Barra proclaimed the autonomous unit could generate $50 billion in annual revenue by 2030. GM also invested another $3.5 billion last year to buy out Softbank’s ownership stake in Cruise and make good on the former investor’s commitment from 2018.

It’s unclear for the moment exactly how long Cruise will stop running entirely driverless vehicles in light of the California DMV’s decision and an ongoing investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For now, though, if you hail a Cruise vehicle, expect to see a human behind the wheel — just in case.

While we have not personally tested a Cruise autonomous vehicle, Andre did try out Waymo’s ride-hailing service, which you can check out below: