NEWS NHTSA launches investigation into GM’s self-driving ‘cruise’ device after major crash

NHTSA launches investigation into GM's self-driving 'cruise' device after major crash

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into GM’s self-driving “Cruising Autopilot” unit after receiving reports of multiple vehicles crashing on the road.

Video Transcript

Dave Briggs: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into General Motors’ Cruise self-driving unit after receiving reports of multiple vehicles crashing on the road. Yahoo Finance senior auto reporter Pras Subramanian details the story here. How is this going?

Plath Subramanian: It’s yet another black eye for the self-driving industry here. You know, Cruise, GM’s big self-driving division in San Francisco, apparently had a couple of crashes here because the cars didn’t brake properly or became immobile while driving. So basically the car, like in motion, it encounters danger, it stops and panics. What happened was it became an object in the traffic and got stuck there. People have to get off in the middle of traffic, so that’s problematic.

Obviously, there were three crashes, three hard braking crashes, and many other incidents that we don’t know about. GM said — their staff said they were complying with the investigation and they’ve done 700,000 miles of autonomous driving with the system. So it’s still happening. They want to try to expand their — probably right now, they’re in the 30% of SF. They want to scale up to 100%. So it’s not easy when you have some problems in the survey.

But I will say this. This comes after Ford terminated its autonomous division, Argo AI. Additionally, we are still under investigation by NHTSA as a result of these crashes at the accident scene. So it’s still — the technology is still in its infancy.

Dave Briggs: Year after year, no?

Jared Blacker: I think I can get a good night’s sleep because the default operation is that if we have an AI algorithm controlling the car, rolling it down the streets of San Francisco or whatever, it goes into panic mode and it just sits there.

Plath Subramanian: It stopped, yes.

Jared Blacker: It just stops.

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