Cruise Investigated After Driverless Robotaxi Injures Pedestrian

NHTSA is investigating four incidents involving Cruise autonomous vehicles and pedestrians in San Francisco.

1 Min Read
Cruise San Francisco (Getty)
A Chevrolet Cruise autonomous vehicle with a driver (center) moves through an intersection on June 8, 2023, in San Francisco.Getty Images
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary evaluation Monday into the safety of Cruise self-driving vehicles around pedestrians, following two reports of pedestrian injuries from the company’s vehicles. NHTSA said it found two more relevant incidents through videos posted online. A preliminary evaluation will help determine the scope and severity of the potential problem.

  • In the most recent incident on Oct. 2 in San Francisco, a woman was struck by a hit-and-run driver and thrown into the path of a driverless Cruise vehicle unable to stop in time to avoid hitting her. She suffered traumatic injuries after being pinned under the Cruise vehicle, a Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle, according to news reports. The other incident reported to NHTSA was a Cruise vehicle with a green light that struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk at low speed.

  • NHTSA has been investigating Cruise since December for incidents where Cruise vehicles came to a standstill on the road, creating dangerous situations for passengers and other drivers.

Dive Insight:

The investigations come as Cruise, Waymo and other companies plan to put driverless ride-hailing vehicles on the streets of more U.S. cities.

Cruise, a General Motors subsidiary, began deploying autonomous ride-hailing vehicles in San Francisco in the summer of 2022. Within weeks of carrying paying riders, there were reports of stranded vehicles, erratic vehicle behavior and at least one accident. Despite these incidents and objections voiced by the San Francisco Fire Department and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the California Public Utilities Commission authorized Cruise and competitor Waymo in August to operate paid driverless robotaxis throughout San Francisco. Read more HERE.


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