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Cruise's Error Could Hinder the Advancement of Robotaxis

U.S. robotaxi operators and partners could face increased legal opposition and examination after an accident involving Cruise, the self-driving cab business of General Motors caused the company to pause their services.

Vruise driverless robotaxi
Cruise driverless taxi - Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Getty Images

In October, one of Cruise's autonomous cabs was not able to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian who was struck by a hit-and-run driver. This raised safety concerns around its use and applications for autonomous vehicles

What are robotaxis?

Robotaxis are autonomous self-driving vehicles that require no human interaction to operate them. The ride service can be initiated through mobile apps like Uber and Lyft you can install on your own personal devices

How does it work?

The vehicles use machine-learning models and modern telemetry systems to process information from its tools that encompass radar, lidar, and camera sensors, as well as pre-existing data, to navigate around specific locations in order to make decisions.

When did driverless cabs become a reality?

Alphabet's Waymo was the first to announce and have legitimate robotaxis in the United States in 2017 - they are also exploring short-haul trucking and other logistics applications.

Cruise followed with its first driverless ride service last year in San Francisco, California and slowly expanded to include Phoenix, Arizona, and Austin, Texas.

When will robotaxis become mainstream?

While Cruise put a hold on servicing the US to undergo a safety review, it continues to manage testing in closed course training conditions, along with public testing overseas.

Robotaxis offer the convenience of lower operating costs for cab organizations, but they will need to overcome regulatory approvals, technological hurdles, and public acceptance before the cabs are widely adopted across states.


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