Cruise Autonomous Vehicles Recalled

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

General Motors’ Cruise autonomous division has had a rough few weeks. First, the company temporarily shuttered operations while it determined why its vehicles kept running into things. Earlier this week, Cruise announced a pause in production of its autonomous van, and now, the NHTSA is getting involved with a recall.

Cruise is recalling 950 of its driverless vehicles and said that it might add more to the pile. The action follows an accident in which a Cruise taxi hit a pedestrian and involves the cars’ collision detection subsystem, which could improperly respond after an accident. The company will issue an over-the-air software update to fix the issue, and Cruise said all vehicles will be repaired before returning to the roads.

Even after the fixes, Cruise won’t be able to resume operations without showing some progress in figuring out how things went wrong. California, long an ally of advancements like autonomous vehicles, ordered the company to pull its vehicles from state roads, and Cruise is facing multiple federal investigations into the safety of its vehicles and how it handles accidents.

All of this is a long way to say, again, that autonomous vehicles are nowhere near becoming mainstream. Even if the regulatory hurdles can be cleared, public trust will take time to recover, and consumer-ready semi-autonomous driving systems like Ford’s Blue Cruise and GM’s Super Cruise are good enough that many people likely won’t care about transitioning to a fully autonomous vehicle.

[Image: IV Olga via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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8 of 12 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Nov 09, 2023

    The story I saw yesterday said that the vehicles with safety drivers aboard could receive the OTA update and continue operating, while the ones without safety drivers would be recalled.

    It's funny, you don't hear anything about Waymo's vehicles - are they not having any problems?

    • MaintenanceCosts MaintenanceCosts on Nov 09, 2023

      They are, in fact, having many fewer problems. They're at least a couple years ahead of everyone else.

  • Tassos Tassos on Nov 09, 2023

    GM's cruise is a $50 billion disaster, 100% on the empty head of idiot Mary Barra. You would expect more even from this pathetic, socially promoted, poorly educated (GM.. Institute grad? Give me a break) GM insider of insiders.

    Thats what affirmative action hires instead of MERITOCRACY gets you, idiots.

    • Redapple2 Redapple2 on Nov 10, 2023

      1 Can you say that?

      2 I ll say it for the tenth time. Cruise is the answer to question no one asked.

      3 Why would GM ever invest so much $ in a tech so far removed from it s core Competencies? (manufacturing automobiles.) Cruise is a tech business. Not a car business. Let somebody else perfect it. Then buy it - if you have to.

  • Voyager Voyager on Nov 09, 2023

    Bummer, since one might argue that Cruise wasn't really responsible. Says a lot that authorities decided to draw the line. More 'bad news' may be coming GM's way. The UK just decided to hold automakers accountible and not the driver when something happens with an AV. By doing so, the UK upped the ante as far as going for truly SAE Level 5 self-driving vehicles, not for some L4 in-between grey zone. Not everything needs to be lost however, as long as developers realize that it is the transport mode that matters more than they have been doing thus far.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 09, 2023

      Of course the mfrs will be responsible for Level 5 autonomy, and we're beginning to see that in this case.

      I imagine the UK has similar guidelines as the US' SAE, but SAE Level 5 says "You are not driving.... This feature can drive the vehicle under all conditions."

      Sounds like a lot of liability on the deep pockets.

      I'm amazed that these dreamers have only begun to realize it.

      I had thought this march to autonomy would be stopped by prosecutors in court, but maybe it will be stopped by regulators before it goes that far.

  • Dwford Dwford on Nov 10, 2023

    How does a company issue a recall to ITSELF?

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 10, 2023

      They do it all the time, before the NHTSA forces it to happen.

      Or are you referring to the entire Cruise business being recalled? That would be an accounting/legal procedure, not a software fix.

      I think we'll know soon!