Cruise, the GM-owned autonomous car company has announced plans to restart its fleet of robotaxis after a series of unfortunate events left the company dangling on the edge.
In September, Cruise vehicles had been approved by the city of San Fransisco to run 24/7 driverless taxis, but after a much-publicized accident injured a woman, the fleet was grounded and the company’s license was revoked by the city.
The woman in question was struck by a human-driven car and launched into the path of a Cruise self-driven car which stopped when it detected the accident.
But then the vehicle, programmed to get out of traffic, pulled over to the side of the road dragging the injured woman nearly 20 feet.
Cruise was criticized for withholding the aftermath of the accident, which subsequently became public.
This led to a nationwide shutdown and recall of all 950 robotaxis as the engineering team fixed the issue.
Then in mid-November, the company’s long-time CEO Kyle Vogt stepped down and was replaced by Mo Elshenawy who headed up engineering for the company.
No city was selected for the restart but most doubt that San Francisco will allow the fleet to restart there until more proof is given that the issues have been worked out.
Austin and Phoenix are thought to be possible contenders because the company maintains offices in both cities and the regulators in Texas and Arizona are seen as more company-friendly than the ones in California.
The company faces a long uphill battle to regain the confidence of many, and as a result, management is said to be contemplating layoffs as the company right-sizes to deal with the slower expansion.