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The Wall Street Journal: California regulator looking into anonymous letter alleging Cruise’s robotaxi service wasn’t ready for launch

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A California regulator responsible for issuing driverless-car permits said it is looking into concerns raised in an anonymous letter that General Motors Co.’s
GM,
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Cruise LLC unit was preparing to launch its robotaxi service prematurely.

The California Public Utilities Commission said it had received an anonymous letter in mid-May from a person who said he had been working at the self-driving car company for a number of years.

In the letter, a copy of which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, the person says that Cruise’s vehicles were regularly stalling at intersections and blocking lanes of traffic, and that employees had concerns internally about the readiness of the self-driving car company’s technology for commercial deployment.

The commission approved Cruise’s permit to launch a paid robotaxi service in San Francisco in early June, nearly two weeks after receiving the letter. Cruise shortly afterward began charging fares for rides in its driverless cars. At the time, Cruise said it was the first driverless-car operator to offer paid rides without a human driver in a major U.S. city.

An expanded version of this article appears on WSJ.com.

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