Information on Robotaxi Accidents in San Francisco Finally Revealed
It has been many weeks since any San Francisco resident has spotted a Cruise robotaxi zipping around local roads – and for good reason. GM’s experiment with driverless software led to a slew of accidents across the Bay Area, leading many to believe that they were essentially being used as test subjects. One San Francisco resident was dragged for several feet by a software-powered vehicle that could not recognize the presence of a human body underneath its wheels. The lack of transparency so far has been astounding. However, the results of an investigation into these vehicles were recently published. Now San Francisco residents can finally assess just how dangerous these driverless vehicles really are. If you have been injured in a robotaxi or rideshare accident in San Francisco, you may be wondering whether you can hold billion-dollar tech companies accountable.
Cruise Blames Suspension on Its Employees
On January 25, the New York Times reported that a 100-page internal report had led to questionable conclusions by Cruise. According to the GM subsidiary, their suspension from San Francisco streets was not due to the string of worrying accidents that its vehicles had caused. Instead, they blamed the suspension on the poor communication of its own employees when interacting with state and city regulators. It was this adversarial approach that led to the shutdown of their entire fleet, they argued, not the fact that a woman had been dragged 20 feet by one of their vehicles.
That being said, the incident did come up in their report. However, according to the Times, any potential safety issues related to their vehicles were not a major point of discussion. Instead, the report centered around how Cruise “misled” regulators about the details of this shocking auto injury.
One of the most important complaints made by regulators was the lack of clear information and data provided by Cruise. In their report, Cruise claims that this was not intentional – but rather the result of a “poor internet connection.” They specifically state that due to connectivity issues, an engineer was unable to fully upload a video of the crash – preventing regulators from seeing footage of the incident. It seems difficult to believe that a major tech company capable of developing driverless vehicle software would fail to establish something as simple as an internet connection.
While Cruise has plenty of excuses, there is little mention of the self-driving software. It seems that everyone and everything is to blame except for the software itself. There were some vague mentions of “mapping errors,” however. What San Francisco residents want to know is how the vehicle could have dragged a woman for 20 feet without registering her presence underneath the vehicle. In order to regain their license to operate in San Francisco, Cruise should show that this kind of thing will never happen again. Until that happens, the average pedestrian will be extremely concerned at the sight of a Cruise vehicle – if it ever reappears in the Bay Area. Cruise reports that they have “updated” their software since the accident.
Cruise Faces Probes From the SEC and the Justice Department
This internal report is probably only the beginning of Cruise’s scrutiny. It is worth noting that the report was compiled by a law firm hired by GM – presenting clear conflict-of-interest issues. After the report was released, however, it was revealed that two legitimate government agencies – the SEC and the Justice Department – were looking into Cruise. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching its own investigation into Cruise and the horrific accident.
According to a report from Yahoo News, an expert on autonomous vehicle law from the University of South Carolina has pointed out serious issues with Cruise’s response. Not only does this legal expert say that Cruise “did not tell the truth,” but he also accuses them of intentionally misleading the public.
Find an Auto Accident Attorney in San Francisco
If you have been searching for an experienced auto accident attorney in San Francisco, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs in the Bay Area – including those harmed by rideshare drivers, questionable driverless software, and malfunctioning vehicles. While one would hope that new technology improves safety, the reality can be quite different. The average person in San Francisco seems to face heightened risks as major tech companies use them as crash dummies and test subjects for their new tech. Book your consultation today to determine whether you can hold these companies liable for your injuries.