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HomeCruiseCruise faces federal inquiry as self-driving vehicles hit North Texas roads

Cruise faces federal inquiry as self-driving vehicles hit North Texas roads

Self-driving cars and trucks have been spotted all across the state as companies from around the country use the Texas’ roads for autonomous testing.
However, Cruise, a California-based self-driving technology company backed by General Motors, Honda, Microsoft, T. Rowe Price and Walmart, is under investigation by federal regulators after reports of the autonomous driving technology vehicles getting too close to pedestrians near roadways or on sidewalks.
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Cruise recently moved to its final stage of testing before launching its fully automated ride-hailing service to the public in Dallas. The company had been running tests since June through Oak Lawn, Uptown, Downtown, Deep Ellum and Lower Greenville. Now, Cruise’s Chevrolet Bolts were planned to hit the streets without a driver, but with the self-driving technology company’s employees and friends and family along for the ride.
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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the lack of caution near pedestrians on roadways could result in serious injury or death. The agency’s Office of Defects Investigation said there were two reports of pedestrian injuries from Cruise vehicles. There were also two additional incidents from videos posted to public websites. The total number of incidents is unknown, but an investigation was opened on Monday.
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“Cruise’s safety record over 5 million miles continues to outperform comparable human drivers at a time when pedestrian injuries and deaths are at an all-time high,” said a Cruise spokesperson in a statement. “Cruise communicates regularly with NHTSA and has consistently cooperated with each of NHTSA’s requests for information — whether associated with an investigation or not — and we plan to continue doing so.”
The company said it holds regular, extensive, meetings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to discuss any questions raised.
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Cruise isn’t the only autonomous vehicle firm in Texas. There are many companies that are using the state, and more specifically, D-FW as its testing grounds.
Aurora and Kodiak Robotics operate autonomous driving companies driverless trucks along the nearly 300-mile stretch of Interstate 45 that connects Dallas and Houston. Kodiak is partnered with shipping giant Maersk for an autonomous trucking route between Houston and Oklahoma City.
Aurora runs autonomous trucks along freight corridors in Texas with a safety driver, but is on track to deploy completely driverless trucks from Dallas to Houston by the end of 2024. Kodiak has been driving a route between Dallas and Houston since 2019.
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In 2024, Gatik plans to deploy “freight only” trucks without drivers in Texas.
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The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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