Major self-driving car recall issued after King's Speech backing for driverless vehicles

Self-driving vehicle

950 Cruise vehicles have been recalled

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 08/11/2023

- 11:50

Updated: 08/11/2023

- 11:53

The Cruise vehicles were recalled following an accident in California last month

One of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers has announced a recall of its self-driving fleet of cars less than a day after the Government pledged to accelerate plans for autonomous vehicles.

General Motors have recalled 950 of its Cruise self-driving vehicles from roads across the United States following an accident in San Francisco.

The American automaker had already announced a temporary pause in production of its autonomous Cruise Origin vehicle and has now recalled almost 1,000 cars.

In October, a pedestrian had been hit by a driver and thrown into an adjacent lane and was hit a second time by a Cruise robotaxi that wasn’t able to stop in time.

WATCH NOW: The King's Speech in full

The recall has been made because of an issue with collision detection in the Cruise Automated Driving Systems (ADS) which may improperly respond after a crash.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an over-the-air update has been issued, with all affected driverless vehicles being repaired before returning to service.

The company had previously announced that it would suspend operations nationwide after the California Department of Motor Vehicles ordered driverless cars to be removed from streets.

This announcement comes less than a day after the Government outlined plans to turbocharge the self-driving industry in the UK.

During the King’s Speech, the Automated Vehicles Bill was unveiled, which is set to “unlock a transport revolution by enabling the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles”.

The King said: “My Ministers will introduce new legal frameworks to support the safe commercial development of emerging industries, such as self-driving vehicles.”

The Government has forecast that the self-driving vehicle industry will have huge economic benefits, potentially up to £42billion in the UK alone.

Automated cars in the UK could help propel the country to capture 6.4 per cent of the total global market by 2035 and create 38,000 new skilled jobs.

Around £475million of direct investment has already been seen between 2018 and 2022, as well as 1,500 new jobs.

Reacting to the announcement, Joshua Hughes, Head of Complex Injury at Bolt Burdon Kemp, said: “New legislation to support the development of self-driving cars will be welcomed with open arms.

“Previously, there was concern over the grey area that could exist if someone is injured by a driverless vehicle and where it was difficult to prove who was in control at the time of the accident.

“In the scenario where a manufacturer was found to be liable, an injured claimant could then find themselves bringing a claim under complex product liability law, rather than motor liability.

“With this Bill, more certainty and confidence will be instilled in the manufacturers, insurers and most importantly, road users.”

The Automated Vehicles Bill will hold companies accountable for self-driving cars as they will have to meet safety requirements.

Self-driving vehicle

The UK Government said the new laws could bring generate around £42billion


These companies could face new sanctions and penalties if they fail in their duty, including fines, requirements to take corrective action and suspension of operation.

According to policy documents from the King’s Speech, in extreme circumstances, the companies may also face criminal offences.

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