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Cruise temporarily pulls plug on autonomous vehicle operations

Cruise announced it was suspending its autonomous vehicle operations on Thursday. Photo courtesy Cruise
Cruise announced it was suspending its autonomous vehicle operations on Thursday. Photo courtesy Cruise

Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The General Motors-owned driverless vehicle startup, Cruise, stopped its operations across all of its fleets on Thursday after numerous issues with collisions and growing regulations.

Cruise announced the decision in a statement on social media, saying it would "take steps to rebuild public trust" days after losing its ability to operate in California.

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"In that spirit, 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," Cruise said.

The company added the decision was not "related to any new on-road incidents" adding that operations of supervised autonomous vehicles would continue.

"We think it's the right thing to do during a period when we need to be extra vigilant when it comes to risk, relentlessly focused on safety and taking steps to rebuild public trust," Cruise said.

The announcement came after the California Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday suspended permits for Cruise's driverless robotaxis, determining that they posed "an unsafe risk to the public" and that Cruise provided inaccurate information about the safety of the technology.

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California suspended Cruise'spermit in the wake of an incident earlier this month in which a woman was struck by a car driven by a human that launched her into the path of a driverless Cruise vehicle that ultimately ran her over.

GM announced on Tuesday that it had lost about $1.9 billion on Cruise's operations so far this year, the bulk coming in the recently ended third quarter at $732 million.

In addition to its vehicles in San Francisco, Cruise had also launched driverless vehicle operations in Austin, Houston, Dallas, Miami and Phoenix.

On Thursday, Uber announced it will start using driverless cars to transport customers in the metro Phoenix area through a partnership with Waymo. Riders in the Phoenix metro area who request an UberX, Uber Green, Uber Comfort or Uber Comfort Electric may be matched with a Waymo driverless ride, based on the new partnership.

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