California has dealt General Motors’ self-driving ambitions a major setback, suspending the company’s testing over safety issues.
According to Reuters, California says GM’s Cruise self-driving unit “misrepresented” the tech’s safety capabilities, with the DMV ruling continued testing posed an unacceptable risk.
“Based upon the performance of the vehicles, the department determines the manufacturer’s vehicles are not safe for the public’s operation,” the DMV said in a statement, citing “an unreasonable risk to public safety.”
The outlet reports that part of the motivation for the decision was an October 2 incident in which a Cruise self-driving vehicle failed to avoid a pedestrian that had already been hit by a hit-and-run driver, striking the pedestrian again.
Outside experts say the suspension could be a major blow to GM and Cruise.
“This could be a big blow to Cruise,” said Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor. “This plays into the narrative about the technology and the companies failing. The whole industry will suffer as a result.”
It remains to be seen if the California DMV will call for a complete memorandum on self-driving testing, or if it will limit its suspension to GM/Cruise.