ARIZONA NEWS

Cruise to restart driverless operation for data collection in Phoenix

Apr 9, 2024, 5:00 PM

FILE - Cruise AV, General Motor's autonomous electric Bolt EV, is seen on Jan. 16, 2019, in Detroit...

FILE - Cruise AV, General Motor's autonomous electric Bolt EV, is seen on Jan. 16, 2019, in Detroit. General Motors’ Cruise subsidiary will be restarting its manual driving to create maps and gather road information in select cities as the robotaxi service looks to resume driverless operations. Cruise said Tuesday, April 9, 2024 that the resumption of human-driven vehicles to create maps and gather road information will begin in Phoenix, where it has a large number of workers. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

General Motors’ Cruise subsidiary will be restarting its manual driving to create maps and gather road information in select cities as the robotaxi service looks to resume driverless operations six months after a gruesome collision.

Cruise said Tuesday that the resumption of human-driven vehicles to create maps and gather road information will begin in Phoenix, where it has a large number of workers.

“This will help inform where we ultimately will resume driverless operations,” the company said.

Some of the data that will be collected includes speed limits, stop signs, traffic lights, lane paint and right turn only lanes.

In January it was disclosed that the Justice Department is investigating General Motors due to the collision that critically injured a pedestrian and derailed its self-driving car ambitions.

The Justice Department inquiry disclosed in a report is the latest twist in a debacle that began in October after a robotaxi operated by GM’s Cruise subsidiary dragged a pedestrian about 20 feet (6 meters) after the person was struck in San Francisco by another vehicle driven by a human.

The incident resulted in Cruise’s license to operate its driverless fleet in California being suspended by regulators and triggered a purge of its leadership — in addition to layoffs that jettisoned about a quarter of its workforce — as GM curtailed its once-lofty ambitions in self-driving technology. Cruise’s omission of key details about what happened in the Oct. 2 incident also led to allegations of a coverup that could have resulted in a fine of $1.5 million. Cruise eventually agreed to pay $112,500.

GM is cooperating with authorities.

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Cruise to restart driverless operation for data collection in Phoenix