General Motors’ self-driving vehicle subsidiary, Cruise is recalling its fleet of 950 autonomous vehicles for a software update. This decision comes after its self-driving cars failed to detect a pedestrian pinned underneath its vehicle and dragged the poor lady for over 20 feet resulting in serious injuries.
Following the incident, Cruise issued a recall of 950 of its vehicles nationwide, saying it would address a “post-collision response” that “could increase the risk of injury.
The company faced severe backlash and has been under scrutiny following the incident on 2 October. The first car had thrown the pedestrian into the path of the autonomous vehicles, after which the self-driving vehicle attempted to pull off the side of the road to avoid causing an obstruction.
The autonomous vehicle failed to detect the injured person who was trapped underneath the vehicle, dragging the critically injured slowly across the asphalt. Following the incident, the California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended Cruise’s permits to operate its vehicles in that state for the lack of cooperation in the investigation of the crash.
However, the company has claimed that it had promptly reported the incident, as required by the regulations, and has fully cooperated with the state DMV and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
About two days later, Cruise announced it was halting all operations nationwide while it investigated the incident.
The company, in a statement said that the update will alter the way an autonomous vehicle will respond after an impact is detected. In the case of the accident, the vehicle had incorrectly determined that it was stuck on the side rather than hitting something in the front.