GM is driverless Cruise section under investigation by both the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), The Washington Post reported. The investigations follow an incident last year in which a pedestrian was hit by a cruising autonomous vehicle and then dragged 20 feet, where his injuries worsened.
Meanwhile, yesterday Cruise released its own third-party findings regarding the Oct. 2 accident involving another vehicle (Nissan). The company said they “failed to meet the reasonable expectations of regulators and the communities we serve… [and] it also fell far short of our own expectations,” he said, adding that he was “fully cooperating” with investigators.
According to reports, Cruise withheld important information from officials during a briefing the day after the accident. Specifically, the company failed to mention that its autonomous vehicle (AV) dragged the victim 20 feet at approximately 7 mph, causing serious injuries. According to an internal report, this happened because the car mistakenly detected a side (frontal) collision and attempted to swerve instead of stopping.
At least 100 Cruise employees, including members of senior management, legal and others, were aware of the dragging incident — but did not disclose it during meetings with San Francisco City Hall, NHTSA, DMV and other officials on Oct. 3, the report said.
The company said it intends to let the video of the dragging incident speak for itself, then answer questions about it. However, due to internet connectivity issues, the video was not displayed clearly and fully, and Cruise staff were subsequently unable to verbally confirm the pedestrian’s pullover maneuver and drag. If that’s not bad enough, third-party findings report the following:
Cruise management was determined to correct the inaccurate media narrative that the crash was caused by the Cruise AV, not the Nissan. This myopic focus led Cruise to release information about the Nissan driver’s hit-and-run that caused the Crash to the media, regulators, and other government officials, but to omit other important information about the Crash. Even after obtaining the Full Video, Cruise did not correct the public narrative, but instead continued to share incomplete facts and videos about the Crash with the media and public.
The failures were caused by “poor leadership, errors in judgment, lack of coordination, an ‘us vs. them’ mentality with regulators, and a fundamental misunderstanding of Cruz’s obligations to government and the public to be accountable and transparent,” the report said.
It was Cruise before the crash faces other problems with the frequency with which autonomous vehicles (AVs) fail to recognize children and human operators take over. According to former CEO Vogt, human drivers had to interrupt trips every 4 to 5 miles.
Cruise had a license to operate has been suspended in California in October. The company was also dismissed 24 percent of the workforce at the end of last year, then resignation the departure of co-founder Daniel Kahn and its CEO Kyle Vogt. In addition to the two federal investigations, the company is also facing a lawsuit from the city of San Francisco.