California deals a blow to autonomous cars

Like an angsty teen who took the car out without permission, Cruise has lost its driving privileges for the time being. 

Driving the news: Per The Washington Post, the autonomous car company has to immediately remove all its driverless vehicles from the roads after the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) determined its the robotaxis are a risk to public safety. 

  • The decision comes after California regulators ordered Cruise to cut down its fleet of vehicles following a string of incidents, including cars that unexpectedly stopped in traffic, blocked ambulances, or rolled over pedestrians, leaving them trapped

  • Cruise, a General Motors subsidiary, has also been accused of misrepresenting safety information about its fleet of driverless vehicles. The company will still be able to test its cars on the road if there is a ‘safety driver’ who is manning the vehicle.

In Canada: Self-driving cars are on the road here, too, though, unlike Cruise, they’re not fully autonomous since they require a driver at the wheel. Tesla’s full self-driving (FSD) beta program has been available to ~400,000 drivers in Canada and the US since last year. 

Why it matters: Self-driving cars are promoted as a way to make roads safer and avoid car accidents — a top ten leading cause of death globally. This decision is a big setback not just for Cruise, but for the perceptions towards the self-driving vehicle industry as a whole.—LA