Cruise Autonomous Vehicles Resume Testing in Houston

Cruise, a leading specialist in robotaxis, has restarted testing its self-driving cars on the streets of Houston, as reported by TechCrunch. This follows a cautious return to public roads after a series of incidents last year prompted a nationwide testing suspension.

General Motors, Cruise’s primary backer, announced an additional $850 million investment in the robotaxi project on the same day.

Last October, a concerning incident in San Francisco, where a female pedestrian was hit by a driverless Cruise car after being thrown into its path following a collision with a human-driven vehicle, led to California suspending Cruise’s operating permit. Consequently, Cruise paused testing across the country shortly thereafter.

Since then, Cruise has reintroduced very small fleets in Phoenix and Dallas. The Houston test fleet will consist of only three vehicles, equipped with autonomous systems that are not yet operational, according to Axios. This move aims to gauge human drivers’ responses and acclimatize them to seeing Cruise cars on Houston’s roads again.

When fully operational, Cruise will commence “supervised autonomous driving,” with autonomous systems functioning under human supervision.

Cruise began operating its self-driving cars in Houston last fall, but the temporary nationwide testing halt meant the testing in the city stopped after a few weeks.

Founded in 2013, Cruise has raised over $15 billion in funding, with GM contributing more than half since acquiring the company in 2016.

Despite last year’s setbacks, Cruise remains committed to advancing autonomous vehicle technology, adopting a deliberate and cautious approach, as stated by a Cruise spokesperson.