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Cruise agrees to reduce driverless car fleet in San Francisco after crash

Less than a day after one of its driverless taxis collided with a fire truck at a San Francisco intersection, Cruz agreed Friday to state regulators’ request to cut in half the number of vehicles it operates in the city. Give.

The blow to the driverless car company comes just a week after the California Public Utilities Commission voted to allow the expansion of driverless taxi services by General Motors-owned Cruise and its rival Waymo, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet. ,

On Friday, the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which regulates the safety of driverless cars, asked Cruise to halve the number of vehicles it operates in San Francisco. The day before, a passenger in a driverless car was injured when a cruise vehicle collided with a fire truck. Earlier in the week, another cruise vehicle Trapped In newly poured concrete on another city street.

Cruz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company, which now has 400 vehicles operating in San Francisco, will have no more than 50 driverless cars during the day and 150 at night.

Last weekend, about 10 cruise vehicles stopped working in the middle of a busy street in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, blocking traffic for 15 minutes. Cruise spokesman Drew Pucateri said in a statement that cars were having difficulty connecting with cruise employees because of an increase in cellular traffic due to a music festival in the city’s Golden Gate Park, which may have pushed them off the road. four miles away.

Several other cruise vehicles are also parked on roads near the park.

A week earlier, the CPUC allowed both companies to charge for round-the-clock rides anywhere in San Francisco. The CPUC and the DMV are the two agencies that control autonomous vehicles in California. A company must obtain a permit from the DMV before applying for a driverless deployment permit — similar to what Cruise and Waymo received from the Utilities Commission last week.

The Motor Vehicles Authority said in a statement that it is “investigating recent incidents involving cruise vehicles in San Francisco.” The agency asked Cruise to cut the number of vehicles operating in San Francisco “until the investigation is complete and Cruise takes appropriate corrective actions to improve road safety.”

“After an investigation of the facts, the DMV reserves the right to suspend or revoke testing and/or deployment permits if there is an unreasonable risk to public safety,” the agency said in its statement.

San Francisco officials have complained since January that the autonomous vehicles are interfering with emergency vehicles. Prior to this week, officials had documented 55 incidents where a driverless car suddenly stopped or interfered with emergency vehicles, including one incident with firefighters who were battling a house fire.

On Wednesday, city officials filed an injunction asking the CPUC to temporarily halt the driverless taxi expansion. Neither company has said how they plan to integrate their driverless taxi services.

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