California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) revealed it suspended General Motors’ permit for autonomous vehicle (AV) deployment and testing, alleging the company “misrepresented” the technology’s safety.
The suspension follows a series of accidents involving Cruise vehicles, marking a major setback for the automaker’s growth opportunities in the AV industry. The incident that prompted the suspension includes a car (with a driver) that struck a pedestrian on the evening of October 2. An ABC affiliate in San Francisco reported that the woman had “multiple traumatic injuries.”
In a statement, the DMV wrote: “The department’s autonomous vehicle regulations provide a framework to facilitate the safe testing and deployment of this technology on California public roads. When there is an unreasonable risk to public safety, the DMV can immediately suspend or revoke permits.”
Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it had launched a safety defect investigation into almost 600 driverless vehicles owned and operated by Cruise. Last year, a California agency also investigated an anonymous letter claiming that Cruise was preparing to announce its robotaxi service ahead of schedule.
Over the past few months, Cruise has been introducing cars in Miami, Nashville, and other cities as part of its nationwide expansion. However, it has experienced issues in San Francisco, one of its largest markets, where its vehicles have stalled and been involved in collisions.
According to the DMV, the suspension will remain in place until Cruise applies to have its permit reinstated. The DMV decision has no bearing on Cruise’s permit to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver present at the wheel.