The GM-backed robo-taxi startup Cruise Automation is reportedly struggling to refine its self-driving car technology (GM)

cruise gm self-driving car

  • The autonomous-driving startup Cruise Automation, which was acquired by General Motors in 2016, is facing technological issues as it seeks to launch an autonomous ride-hailing service by the end of this year, The Information‘s Amir Efrati reported on Friday.
  • Among the issues reportedly experienced by Cruise vehicles are near-accidents, getting stuck in the middle of a trip, taking 80% longer to complete a trip than a human driver would, and erratic braking and steering.
  • The computers in the vehicles also shut off completely on occasion, including at one point during a ride taken by Honda Motor CEO Takahiro Hachigo, according to The Information’s report.
  • The vehicles are expected to be only around 5%-10% as safe as human-driven vehicles by the end of this year, according to internal data cited by The Information.
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The autonomous-driving startup Cruise Automation, which was acquired by General Motors in 2016, is facing technological issues as it seeks to launch an autonomous ride-hailing service by the end of this year, The Information‘s Amir Efrati reported on Friday. The startup had reportedly once hoped to debut the service in 2018.

Among the issues reportedly experienced by Cruise vehicles are near-accidents, according to The Information; getting stuck in the middle of a trip, taking 80% longer to complete a trip than a human driver would, and erratic braking and steering.

The computers in the vehicles also shut off entirely on occasion, including at one point during a ride taken by the Honda Motor CEO Takahiro Hachigo, according to The Information’s report. (Honda is one of Cruise’s investors.)

Cruise declined Business Insider’s request for comment.

The company’s vehicles would come close to getting in a collision about once every 450 miles “several months ago,” according to The Information. Cruise had reportedly set a goal of lowering that rate to once every 1,000 miles by the end of 2018.

Read more: Uber and Lyft are betting on self-driving cars to become profitable. But that may not happen, new research from MIT suggests.

And Cruise vehicles reportedly induced discomfort for passengers — by braking abruptly, for example — around 10 times every 10 miles during a recent 30,000-mile stretch of testing, which was similar to a rate of around six to 12 incidents every 10 miles last year, according to The Information.

The vehicles are expected to be only around 5% to 10% as safe as human-driven vehicles by the end of this year, according to internal data cited by The Information.

Cruise is not the only autonomous-driving company that has faced setbacks. The Information reported in August that self-driving vehicles from the Google spinoff Waymo, which launched the first commercial autonomous ride-hailing service in parts of Arizona last year, had difficulty making unprotected left turns, distinguishing between individuals in a large group, and merging into turn lanes and highway traffic, among other trouble areas.

Uber’s self-driving program had to halt testing for nine months after one of its vehicles hit and killed a pedestrian in 2018, and Tesla has missed multiple deadlines set by CEO Elon Musk to send a self-driving vehicle across the country.

The research and consulting firm Navigant placed Waymo and Cruise first and second, respectively, in its 2019 ranking of companies developing autonomous-driving technology. The firm evaluated 20 companies based on criteria like strategy and execution.

Read The Information’s full story here »

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Source: businessinsider
The GM-backed robo-taxi startup Cruise Automation is reportedly struggling to refine its self-driving car technology (GM)