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Waymo issues another voluntary recall as GM infuses Cruise with $850M

The robotaxi industry is facing challenges as Waymo issued its second voluntary recall due to a collision involving one of its vehicles, and GM injected $850 million into Cruise to sustain operations after the company had to ground its entire fleet following an accident involving a pedestrian.

Ellie Ramirez-Camara profile image
by Ellie Ramirez-Camara
Waymo issues another voluntary recall as GM infuses Cruise with $850M
Photo by gibblesmash asdf / Unsplash

The robotaxi industry is going through quite a rough patch after Waymo issued its second voluntary recall and General Motors infused Cruise with $850M to tide the company over until a better long-term strategy is found. Waymo filed its first software recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in February this year after two of its vehicles crashed into the same pickup truck being towed. Waymo is currently under investigation by the NHTSA after the agency received multiple reports about Waymo's vehicles, including a collision with a cyclist.

Waymo's second voluntary software recall involves all of Waymo's Jaguar I-Pace robotaxis. The recall follows an incident on May 21, where a vehicle without a human safety operator crashed a telephone pole in an alley as it drove to pick up a passenger in Phoenix, Arizona. The alley was lined with wooden poles level to the ground on both sides, with an array of yellow lines delimiting the path for vehicles. Waymo stated its current software wasn't the best at guiding vehicles through narrow roads with permanent objects on the surface. The company also claims it has implemented updates to resolve the issue.

Waymo's second recall is unfolding as another autonomous vehicle company, GM's Cruise, is struggling to reenter the market after grounding its entire fleet following an accident this October where one of Cruise's cars ran over and dragged a pedestrian for 20 feet in San Francisco. Cruise lost its permit to operate in California, which has not yet been reinstated. The company is slowly re-testing its service in cities where permits are not required to operate. Reasonably, Cruise still needs money to cover its operational costs. Thus, GM invested $850 million in Cruise to keep it going until a sustainable long-term financing strategy is in place. GM's latest investment in Cruise comes after GM has already invested, and lost over $8 billion since acquiring Cruise in 2016.

Ellie Ramirez-Camara profile image
by Ellie Ramirez-Camara
Updated

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