Cruise Advert Saying People Are Horrible Drivers Attracts Criticism From Former NHTSA Head

Cruise, the Common Motors self-driving service, ran a full-page advert within the New York Instances and a number of other native newspapers final week during which the corporate mentioned that its autonomous taxis by no means drive distracted, drowsy, or drunk, with the title of the commercial saying in crimson: “People are horrible drivers.”

Under the headline, GM’s robotaxi service talked about that 42,795 Individuals had been killed in automotive crashes final 12 months and that its vehicles had been concerned in 92 p.c fewer collisions as the first contributor.

The seemingly innocent advert didn’t go unnoticed, although, with Joan Claybrook, the Nationwide Freeway Security Administration’s (NHTSA’s) former head throughout the late Seventies and security advocate, saying that it’s unscrupulous to make use of the ache and struggling of individuals to advertise a enterprise, based on Automotive Information.


“Utilizing the ache and struggling of these deaths for self-promotion of an unproven and unsafe product is unscrupulous,” Claybrook mentioned in an announcement distributed by the Advocates for Freeway and Auto Security.

The advert was a part of a push forward of a vote on August 10 to approve a allow that might permit Cruise to function in all of San Francisco and supply paid rides at any time of day, as the corporate is presently allowed to cost prospects for robotaxi rides in a restricted portion of the town and solely throughout daytime.

Nevertheless, Claybrook says that the claims made within the commercial had been neither “convincing” nor “credible.”

“There are real-world accounts in regards to the havoc Waymo and Cruise robotaxis have inflicted on San Francisco roadways and its residents,” she mentioned, citing native officers’ issues about security incidents with self-driving taxis on metropolis streets. “Their collective expertise highlights the risks, which have disrupted police exercise, hampered firefighting, and blocked native streets and intersections.”

The GM-backed firm mentioned that the primary 1 million driverless miles pushed by its Chevy Bolt fleet had 54 p.c fewer collisions general than human drivers in comparable driving environments and 73 p.c fewer collisions with significant danger of harm.

With this being mentioned, some San Francisco residents are pissed off with how Cruise’s robotaxis get caught in the midst of intersections the place there’s ongoing building or in entrance of inexperienced visitors lights with out anyone contained in the automotive.