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Cruise takes all robotaxis off the roads nationwide after California suspension

Cruise said Thursday it will take all driverless cars off the road, an announcement that comes days after regulators suspended its permit to operate in California. | Source: Jeremy Chen/The Standard

Cruise is halting operations of its driverless car fleet nationwide, according to a social media post Thursday night from the autonomous vehicle service.

The news comes just two days after Cruise was told by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to stop taxi services in San Francisco.

"The most important thing for us right now is to take steps to rebuild public trust," the company wrote on X/Twitter. "Part of this involves taking a hard look inwards and at how we do work at Cruise, even if it means doing things that are uncomfortable or difficult. In that spirit, we have decided to proactively pause driverless operations across all of our fleets while we take time to examine our processes, systems, and tools and reflect on how we can better operate in a way that will earn public trust."

According to Cruise, supervised autonomous vehicle operations—with a driver in the cab—will continue, although a timetable for the driverless operations remains unclear.

Outside of San Francisco, Cruise has operations in Phoenix, Austin and Houston.

After news broke of the DMV permit suspension on Tuesday, Cruise disclosed that it was related to an Oct. 2 incident where a woman was struck by a human driver in a hit-and-run before being thrown into the path of the robotaxi in Downtown San Francisco.

Since 2022, Cruise's robotaxi expansion in San Francisco has proved to be a bumpy road for the company.

READ MORE: DMV Stops San Francisco Cruise Robotaxis After Woman Got Stuck Under Driverless Car

Cruise and Waymo cars have been involved in a number of traffic incidents throughout San Francisco streets—ranging from a wayward robotaxi rolling into wet cement to more serious incidents involving emergency vehicles—that have prompted viral videos of both companies' stalled cars on San Francisco streets.

In August, the California Public Utilities Commission approved unlimited robotaxi expansion for both Cruise and Waymo after city leaders, first responders and labor unions called on the state to slow the robotaxis' rollout, citing safety issues.

A week after the commission's approval, the DMV asked Cruise to cut its San Francisco fleet in half following a collision between a fire truck and a Cruise vehicle in which one passenger was injured.

The DMV announcement on Tuesday drew praise from San Francisco city officials.

"Better late than never," Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin said. "San Francisco has long held that Cruise vehicles were not ready for prime time, and the state should never have allowed their unlimited deployment in the first place."

Joel Umanzor can be reached at jumanzor@sfstandard.com