The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting an investigation involving approximately 600 self-driving cars manufactured by Cruise, a General Motors subsidiary. The NHTSA received two reports of pedestrian injuries related to these autonomous vehicles.
Self-Driving Cars Investigated After Two Accidents
According to the agency, there were concerns that these self-driving cars might have posed risks to pedestrians, particularly at crossings in San Francisco. Cruise, however, has stated that its self-driving cars maintain a safety record that surpasses that of human drivers. This investigation highlights the importance of ensuring the safety and reliability of autonomous vehicles as they become more prevalent on the roads.
The reports to the NHTSA indicate that the incidents involving self-driving cars manufactured. A cruise occurred as pedestrians were crossing the road after the cars’ traffic lights had already turned green. In one case from August 2023, the autonomous vehicle struck a pedestrian at a very low speed of 1.4 miles per hour.
The second incident involved a car being driven by a human, which hit a pedestrian. Causing the pedestrian to be pushed in front of the self-driving car. The report from October 2023 mentions that the autonomous vehicle braked aggressively. But was unable to come to a complete stop in time to avoid the pedestrian. Both of these accidents occurred at night. This investigation underscores the challenges of self-driving technology and the need to enhance safety measures for autonomous vehicles, especially in nighttime conditions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also examining two videos that have been shared online and involve pedestrians. In August, the California government made a significant decision to allow two cab companies, Waymo and Cruise, to operate a 24-hour service with driverless vehicles.
This was a departure from the previous restriction that only allowed them to offer paid rides at night. The decision generated controversy in San Francisco. Opinions are divided on whether these autonomous vehicles are safer than human-driven ones or if they pose a risk. Particularly in terms of potentially obstructing fire trucks. Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, asserts that its safety record, covering over five million miles, surpasses the safety of human drivers. The company also emphasizes its cooperation with NHTSA’s information requests, whether part of an investigation or not.
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