Cruise, the subsidiary of General Motors, is recalling its vehicles after an accident

Cruise, the subsidiary of General Motors specializing in autonomous driving, the first to obtain permission to transport paying passengers aboard its robotic taxi in San Francisco, sent a notice to the US agency in charge of Highway Safety at the beginning of the week (NHTSA) ), which noted in a letter dated Wednesday.

Cruise explains that on June 3, one of his cars was hit from behind by another vehicle after suddenly braking while turning left to avoid a head-on collision with this other vehicle arriving on the road. According to a report submitted to a California agency, two people were slightly injured.

Police determined that the other vehicle was primarily responsible for the accident as it was not in the correct lane and was traveling over the speed limit. However, NHTSA did not completely rule out Cruise’s liability, saying that its software could, “under certain circumstances when turning left unprotected, causing the self-driving system to mispredict the path of another vehicle or not react enough to a driver’s sudden change of direction”.

Tesla is in revolt

Problems that echo Tesla’s. In early August, the California Motor Vehicle Agency (DMV) accused the automaker of lying to consumers about its self-driving technologies and filed a lawsuit in state administrative court.

You are here ” has made or disseminated statements that are false or misleading and not based on facts “, the DMV said in those complaints filed on July 28, said Los Angeles Times. Tesla cars never could,” and cannot function as autonomous vehicles today “, according to the document cited by US media.

The DMV criticizes Tesla for advertising language that gives these systems a broader range of performance than they actually have. A victory for the Californian authority against the manufacturer of electric vehicles could have serious consequences, going as far as revoking the licenses that allow Tesla to manufacture or sell its cars in California, further indicates LA Timeswhich clarifies that the measures envisaged rather concern the precision of the information that the manufacturer must provide to its customers.

In addition, Tesla-branded vehicles equipped with self-driving software were involved in 273 accidents in the United States, according to a report by the US Highway Safety Agency in June.

In June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk highlighted the importance of fully self-driving to the company, adding that without it, his company’s value would be ” close to zero “.

Apple is not there

Cruise and Tesla aren’t the only ones coveting this market. But Apple’s top-secret car project is still a long way off after eight years of big ambitions and changes in direction. Unlike its competitors, the Apple brand intends to market cars that are already fully autonomous.

According to the specialist website The Information, which says it has spoken to around twenty people who were part of the project, Apple, which has never admitted to working on a self-driving car project, has sinned in several areas, but it is rather all the autonomy software that should detect potential obstacles and adjust driving accordingly, which is a problem for him.

Dubbed Titan, the project would have a bit too much ambition, like trying to build an entirely new car, and many departures of experienced executives, especially due to the lack of support from the executives. Apple is testing its prototypes with a backup driver in Los Angeles, San Diego and around Lake Tahoe. But earlier this year, one of them nearly ran over a pedestrian at 25km/h, and an internal investigation found that the incident would have happened without the last-minute intervention of the employee behind the wheel.

Volkswagen could participate in the race

The competition is looking. By giving up a fraction of its control over Porsche, Volkswagen could thus obtain the necessary billions to finance its investments in the electric, connected and autonomous car. The Wolfsburg group does not hide that they want to use this windfall to bring themselves up to the level of the American Tesla and its Chinese competitors, who are more advanced in these areas.

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AUTONOMOUS CIRCULATION INTERNALLY

Several municipalities in Indre are experimenting until the end of 2022 with an automatic shuttle service presented as a world first. Without ever exceeding 50 km/h, a pink, green and blue van crosses the Brenne and its ponds without a driver. But for security reasons, a “operator” still sitting behind a steering wheel that turns by itself. For example, it takes control when the shuttle has to pass a poorly parked vehicle. As for the pedals, they sink and rise without touching them, all on a 17 kilometer journey covered in 36 minutes.

Free for users, the service, which was in place until December 31, cost almost 800,000 euros, half of which was invested by the Agency for Environment and Energy Management (Ademe) as part of the Autonomous Shuttle Experiments (ENA) program.

“We are not looking for a technical experiment, but rather a societal one”explains Jean-Bernard Constant, digital manager of the Coeur de Brenne community of municipalities. “There are 150 experiments in France. On the other hand, very little about rural areas. And so many kilometers on open roads, it’s a world first. » He adds: “We have residents who do not have a mobility solution at all and who use it regularly. The next step is for the operator behind the wheel to be behind a screen and manage multiple shuttles. There we will have a real logic for future territorial development”.

(With AFP)