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US opens probe of Cruise robotaxi braking, clogging traffic

DETROIT (AP) — US safety regulators are investigating reports that autonomous robotaxis run by General Motors’ Cruise LLC can stop too quickly or unexpectedly stop moving, potentially stranding passengers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it opened the probe after getting three reports of Cruise autonomous vehicles braking so hard that they were hit from behind by other vehicles. At the time, robotaxis were staffed by human safety drivers.

The agency also has multiple reports of Cruise robotaxis without human safety drivers becoming immobilized in San Francisco traffic, possibly stranding passengers and blocking lanes.

The reports of immobilized autonomous vehicles came from discussions with Cruise, media reports and local authorities, NHTSA said in an investigation document posted Friday on its website.

The agency says it has no reports of injuries in the crashes.

The agency says it will determine how often the problems happen and potential safety issues they cause.

A message was left early Friday seeking comment from Cruise.