Houston witnessed the presence of Cruise self-driving cars for a brief period of two weeks in October. However, concerns about safety halted their operation not only in California but also in Texas and other states. The General Motors-owned company voluntarily suspended the use of their driverless vehicles to conduct a thorough investigation into their fleet following reports of incidents such as hitting pedestrians and stalling in roadways.
One Houston resident, Logan Winship, shared his own unsettling encounter with a driverless vehicle during a trip to Austin. “I almost got hit by one, and I was just walking down the sidewalk,” he expressed. “It didn’t register me.”
The newness of driverless technology has placed it under intense scrutiny. Due to its novelty, even minor issues can attract significant attention. Dr. Kaushik Rajashekara, a distinguished professor of engineering at the University of Houston, explained that the Cruise vehicles may soon resume full service with specific adjustments to their perception systems. However, they will still be confined to certain areas of the city, similar to their previous operations.
Dr. Rajashekara noted that widespread implementation of driverless technology that seamlessly integrates with existing road users is still many decades away. The technology needs further refinement and thorough testing to ensure safety for both passengers and pedestrians.
As of now, Cruise has not responded to inquiries about their plans for re-introducing their driverless cars in Houston and other areas. Safety remains a top priority, and it is essential to address any potential risks associated with autonomous vehicles before they can coexist harmoniously with human-operated vehicles on the road.
Q: Why were the Cruise self-driving cars suspended in Houston?
A: The operation of Cruise self-driving cars in Houston was suspended due to concerns about safety after reports of incidents and accidents.
Q: Will the driverless vehicles return to Houston’s streets soon?
A: The return of driverless vehicles to Houston’s streets is possible, but it depends on further investigations and necessary adjustments to ensure safety.
Q: When can we expect widespread implementation of driverless technology?
A: According to Dr. Kaushik Rajashekara, widespread implementation of driverless technology that shares the road with other vehicles is still several decades away.