GM Cruise Self-Driving Cars Recalled Following Bus Crash In March
Cruise, General Motors’ subsidiary for autonomous vehicles, has issued a voluntary recall to update its driverless cars. The recall was a result of a bus crash in San Francisco on March 23, 2023, involving a Cruise autonomous vehicle and an articulated San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (MUNI) bus. According to the documents, the software malfunction happens in “certain rare circumstances.”
Filed under the NHTSA Campaign Number 23E029000, Cruise said that the ADS software could inaccurately predict the movement of articulated vehicles (buses, tractors, or trailers) in three situations. One is when “the ADS perceived both the front section and rear section of an articulated vehicle initially,” while the other is when “the articulated vehicle then maneuvered in such a manner that the rear section of the vehicle fully obstructed the front section of the vehicle.”
The last situation is when “the articulated vehicle then decelerated close to the AV within a few seconds of the front section becoming obstructed. In such a circumstance, the ADS could inaccurately determine that the obstructed front section of the vehicle was continuing to move forward and that the rear section of the vehicle would continue to move forward with the front section, even if the vehicle was decelerating.”
According to Cruise, the problematic aspect of the Subject ADS Software was introduced with a software release that took place on January 12, 2023. A software update installed on all impacted vehicles on March 25 onward should prevent this from happening again.
And while there have been no additional accidents resulting from this software issue, Cruise has chosen to submit the voluntary recall report in the interest of transparency and as a precautionary measure. A total of 300 Cruise autonomous vehicle units are part of this recall.
Cruise’s driverless taxi has started operating in San Francisco since last year – the first driverless taxi operating in a major city. Since then, there were crashes reported, which launched various investigations by the NHTSA. Despite this, the company plans to expand its operations this year, particularly in other major cities like Austin and Phoenix.