GM Faces Lawsuit after Crash between Motorcyclist and Self-driving Cruise
A crash involving a motorcyclist and a Cruise Automation self-driving vehicle filed suit against that company’s parent and maker of the vehicle, General Motors, in December 2017.
A man was injured while riding behind a Cruise Automation Chevrolet Bolt in San Francisco. The cruise had someone in the driver’s seat, however, the person at the seat did not have his hands on the steering wheel.
The car started to change into a left lane, when it abruptly returned to the initial lane and collided with Nilsson, who now says the crash resulted in injuries that have forced him to take disability leave from work.
Details of the crash in a report filed by GM to the California Department of Motor Vehicles contradicts Nilsson’s claim. The automaker reported the Bolt, operating in autonomous mode in heavy traffic, stopped a requested lane change from the center lane to the left lane, as a vehicle decelerated and the gap was deemed too small than initially thought. While the Bolt was trying to center itself in the initial lane again when Nilsson wobbled and fell over, while trying to lane split. The damage to the Bolt was a, “long scuff on passenger side of the vehicle,” according to the DMV report.
“At Cruise, we test our self-driving cars in challenging and unpredictable environments precisely because by doing so we will get better, safer AV technology on the roads sooner. In this case the motorcyclist merged into our lane before it was safe to do so.” said a spokesperson from the automaker.
GM reported the Bolt was traveling at 12 mph at the time of the collision, while Nilsson was going faster than the flow of traffic at around 17 mph. The report also states Nilsson got up and moved his Honda motorcycle to the side of the street to exchange information with the vehicle operator, complained of shoulder pain and was taken to get medical care.
News of the suit was out just a few days after GM said it would release a Level 5 autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel or pedals in 2019. The Reuters report that the Cruise vehicles have been in 13 crashes before Nilsson’s crashes.
Increasing number of road accidents due to human driving errors is expected to be drive demand for autonomous cars, as per autonomous cars market report published by Coherent Market Insights. However, after considering the number of road accidents that have involved self-driving cars, the growth of this market might be questionable.
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