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Cruise tries to steer the course of regulatory hearing, hits roadblocks

Cruise driverless cars
Wikicommons User: Mliu92
Creative Commons / Wikicommons
Cruise driverless cars

Last fall, a Cruise autonomous car named "Panini" was involved in an accident where a pedestrian was pinned under the car and dragged several feet. The California DMV suspended Cruise's permit to operate its driverless fleet in the state, largely due to the company failing to fully disclose all the facts surrounding the case.

State regulators say that Cruise could be found liable for $1.5 million dollars for what happened last year. In response, Cruise suggested changing the structure of the proceedings, offering to pay a fraction of that amount - $75,000.

This week, Cruise appeared before a judge with the California Public Utilities Commission to determine the validity of their financial offer.

Cruise’s president, Craig Glidden said, "We wanted to make sure that we were transparent and totally candid with the commission." Glidden added "We'd like to get credit for the work that we've done to make that possible."

Judge Robert Mason appeared unimpressed with Cruise’s proposal, calling the company out as acting like Eddie Haskell. Haskell was a fictional character on the TV Show "Leave it to Beaver.” He had a habit of using flattery and wide smiles to distract from the half truths he was telling.

Judge Mason closed the hearing without saying when he would make a ruling, though he seemed to lean toward rejecting Cruise's offer to settle the matter.

I was born and raised in San Francisco and grew up in SF Unified, listening to KALW. An avid traveller and cultural adventurer, I spent the 15 years leading up to the 2020 pandemic running youth hostels around the Bay Area and exploring as much as possible. More recently I've completed my MA at SF State in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts. I'm passionate about culture and community, and believe joy and pleasure are radical routes to social progress.