Cruise, General Motors’ troubled self-driving taxi division, is looking to buy itself out of a court action that was initiated by California regulators after one of the company’s robotaxis was involved in a pedestrian crash in October of last year.

According to Reuters, Cruise is offering $75,000 to settle the crash probe and potentially cancel a hearing scheduled for February 6, where the GM-owned entity was cited for misleading the California Public Utilities Commission “through omission and for “misleading public comments” on interactions with the agency.

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GM's robotaxi unit wants to settle

General Motors' self-driving taxi unit, Cruise, offered $75,000 to settle a case that was brought to court by the California Public Utilities Comission after one of the company's autonomous vehicles was involved in a collision with a pedestrian. California regulators claimed after the crash that it was misleaded "through omission."

The crash that prompted the court action and ultimately put an end to Cruise’s autonomous vehicle testing country-wide happened on October 2, 2023. Back then, a pedestrian in San Francisco was run over by a Cruise robotaxi after first being struck by a hit-and-run human driver.

After the accident, the business unit called the California regulators to inform them about the collision but “omitted that the Cruise AV had engaged in the pullover maneuver which resulted in the pedestrian being dragged an additional 20 feet at 7 mph,” Reuters reported.

This particular incident was the most serious out of a series of fender-benders, weird autonomous vehicle gridlocks, and various mishaps that involved the driverless Chevrolet Bolt EVs. Besides being ordered to appear in court, Cruise is also under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is trying to find out whether General Motors’ self-driving taxi unit took enough measures to protect pedestrians during its on-road testing phase.

Gallery: GM Cruise Driverless Taxi

After Cruise’s testing permit was suspended by California, the company pulled all its U.S. vehicles from the roads. The unit’s CEO Kyle Vogt and chief product officer Dan Kan resigned in November, while December came with a 24% cut of the workforce. The production of the Origin driverless pod (which doesn’t have a steering wheel and can carry multiple passengers) was also put on the back burner for the foreseeable future.

To put things in perspective in regards to the money offer to settle the California case, General Motors lost over $8 billion on Cruise since 2016. That’s despite the fact that head honcho Mary Barra claimed at one point that the driverless cab business has the potential to generate up to $50 billion in revenue by the end of the decade. Right now, that seems highly unlikely.

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