Driverless car company Cruise returns to the roads in Dallas

A driverless vehicle company is returning to Dallas after pausing operations in Texas last year.

Cruise says it has begun manual driving in Dallas and Phoenix as it attempts to return to the roads.

The company paused operations in October 2023 after California yanked its license over safety concerns. The state didn’t point to specific examples, but Cruise said it’s because of a situation when a hit-and-run driver knocked a woman into the path of a Cruise car.

Cruise said when their car went to pull over, it ended up pulling the victim.

When first responders arrived, they found the woman pinned under the car.

Since then, the company says they've worked hard to rebuild trust with regulators and communities.

"We’ve made significant progress, guided by new company leadership, recommendations from third-party experts, and a focus on a close partnership with the communities in which our vehicles operate. We are committed to this improvement as a continuous effort," Cruise said in a statement on Monday.

The company says its goal is to resume driverless operations.

Driverless trips previously took place in cities like San Francisco, Phoenix, Austin and Houston. 

In Austin, there were reports of issues, like cars stopping and blocking intersections.

Right now, Cruise employees are driving the vehicles in Dallas and Phoenix to help create maps and gather road information.

"This work is done using human-driven vehicles without autonomous systems engaged, and is a critical step for validating our self-driving systems as we work towards returning to our driverless mission. This will help inform where we ultimately will resume driverless operations," said Cruise in a statement.


Cruise suspends driverless vehicle operations in Texas

Cruise is suspending all of its driverless vehicle operations in Texas. This includes Austin, where 125 autonomous vehicles were driving on roads.

Cruise vehicles were on the streets of Dallas last year in a testing phase, but with employees in the driver's seat.

Tests began in Phoenix last month.

A memo from the City of Dallas says that the Texas Transportation Code allows the operation of driverless vehicles.

"City staff looks forward to working with Cruise and to continuing to collaborate on our shared mission to improve road safety," said the memo from interim city manager Kim Tolbert.