Title: GM’s Driverless Cruise Division Faces Federal Investigation and Lawsuit After Incident with Jaywalking Pedestrian
In a major development, General Motors’ (GM) autonomous driving division, Cruise, is now under investigation by the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The investigation comes after an alarming incident involving a jaywalking pedestrian and a Cruise autonomous vehicle colliding.
The incident took place in October 2021 when a Cruise self-driving vehicle collided with a Nissan. In response, Cruise released its own findings, which were highly critical of the company’s performance. It admitted to failing to meet expectations and falling short of its own standards.
However, it has now come to light that Cruise deliberately withheld crucial information during a briefing the day after the accident. Shockingly, the company failed to disclose that the vehicle dragged the victim for a distance of 20 feet, causing severe injuries. It has been revealed that at least 100 Cruise employees, including senior leadership, were aware of the dragging incident but refrained from informing officials.
Moreover, Cruise planned to present a video of the incident during the briefing but experienced technical difficulties, thus failing to properly demonstrate the vehicle’s pullover maneuver and the subsequent dragging of the pedestrian. These findings by a third-party further highlight poor leadership, judgment errors, a lack of coordination, and a misunderstanding of Cruise’s responsibility towards transparency and accountability.
This incident is just the latest blow for Cruise, which had already been grappling with issues related to its autonomous vehicles prior to the crash. These included failures to recognize children and a heavy reliance on human operators. As a result of the mounting problems, the company’s license was suspended in California and it laid off approximately 24% of its workforce.
Apart from the federal investigations, Cruise is also facing a legal battle with the city of San Francisco. The lawsuit highlights the growing concerns regarding Cruise’s safety measures and its ability to operate autonomously on public roads without compromising public well-being.
As the investigation unfolds, stakeholders and the public await a clear explanation from GM and Cruise regarding their actions before, during, and after this alarming incident. The outcome of the federal investigations and the pending lawsuit could potentially have far-reaching consequences for the future of autonomous vehicles and GM’s reputation as a leading automotive player.
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