Months after a high profile accident, Cruise returns to Phoenix, but only for mapping

The company voluntarily shut down most of its operations in 2023, but now it's ready to roll again.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
GM Cruise self driving car waiting in traffic
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If you're in the Phoenix area, you might start noticing Cruise vehicles again. Starting as early as today, Cruise plans to begin mapping the streets and gathering road information again, just six months after an accident halted the fleet. For now though, someone will be behind the wheel: Cruise is disengaging its cars' self-driving systems and letting humans drive. The company announced its return to the roads today, but didn't specify when driverless operations would begin.

In October 2023, a vehicle from General Motors company Cruise hit and dragged a pedestrian who was crossing the street in San Francisco. When California lawmakers decided Cruise didn't behave honestly during the initial investigation, they suspended the company's license in the state. Cruise voluntarily announced a recall for the vehicle's software, shut down the rest of the company's operations, accepted the resignation of co-founder Kyle Vogt, dismissed nine other executives, and hired a new chief safety officer.

Also: For the first time, Waymo self-driving cars are delivering Uber Eats orders

Before the accident, Cruise had driverless cars in San Francisco, Houston, Phoenix, Austin, Dallas, and Miami.

Cruise wasn't cruising without issue though. The company was also under investigation, since December 2022, for repeated hard braking, which resulted in a collision, and for instances where Cruise vehicles would become immobilized on the road.

In addition to Phoenix, Cruise has been in talks with more than 20 major metropolitan areas, Bloomberg reported today. Phoenix was the obvious place to start though, given the company had already run vehicles there, it's home to a number of Cruise employees, and city officials were open to the idea of the cars coming back.

"Looking to the next chapter," today's announcement reads, "our goal is to resume driverless operations. As we continue working to rebuild trust and determine the city where we will scale driverless, we also remain focused on continuing to improve our performance and overall safety approach."

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