Union urges US regulators to deny GM’s self-driving Cruise a safety exemption

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters union on Wednesday asked U.S. auto safety regulators to deny a petition by General Motors (GM.N) to exempt its autonomous vehicle unit Cruise Origin from vehicle safety standards.

In July, acting National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chief Ann Carlson said it would decide “in the coming weeks” on the Cruise petition seeking permission to deploy up to 2,500 self-driving vehicles annually without human controls like steering wheels.

The Cruise petition, filed in February 2022, seeks government approval to deploy vehicles annually without steering wheels, mirrors, turn signals or windshield wipers.

“It is dangerous for other motorists, for pedestrians, and for middle-class jobs for Cruise to make a request like this from NHTSA,” said Sean O’Brien, president of the 1.2-million member union citing a series of “deeply concerning” recent incidents in San Francisco…

In December, NHTSA opened a formal safety probe into the autonomous driving system in vehicles produced by Cruise after reports of two injuries in rear-end crashes. NHTSA said Cruise vehicles “may engage in inappropriately hard braking or become immobilized.”