Around 600 self-driving cars produced by Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, are under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) following reports of injuries to pedestrians. The NHTSA is examining incidents where Cruise self-driving cars may have been involved in “encroaching on pedestrians.”
According to the NHTSA, it has received two reports related to injuries to pedestrians caused by self-driving cars in San Francisco. Both incidents occurred at night and involved pedestrians crossing the road after the cars’ traffic lights had turned green.
In one incident from August 2023, a self-driving car hit a pedestrian at a speed of 1.4 mph. In the other incident, another vehicle, driven by a person, struck a pedestrian crossing the road, causing the individual to be knocked in front of the self-driving car. The NHTSA report noted that the autonomous car “braked aggressively” but was unable to stop in time to avoid the collision.
Additionally, the NHTSA is investigating two videos posted online that involve pedestrians and self-driving cars.
Cruise maintains that its safety record, based on covering over five million miles, surpasses that of human drivers. The company stated that it has consistently cooperated with the NHTSA’s requests for information and will continue to do so.
In August 2023, the California government permitted two cab companies, Waymo and Cruise, to operate 24-hour services with self-driving cars, expanding from their previous allowance for nighttime paid rides. This decision sparked controversy in San Francisco, with differing opinions on the safety and utility of autonomous vehicles.