DETROIT (NEWSnet/AP) — General Motors’ Cruise autonomous vehicle unit will begin testing robotaxis  this week in Arizona, with human drivers aboard.

Cruise will check vehicle performance against the company’s safety and autonomous vehicle performance requirements.

Testing starts in Phoenix, then gradually will expand to Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Tempe. Vehicles will operate in autonomous mode, but human drivers will be ready to take control when necessary.

Human drivers are important in testing the vehicles’ performance and "continuous improvement of our technology,” Cruise said.

Cruise suspended operations in October 2023, after a Chevrolet Bolt autonomous electric vehicle dragged a San Francisco pedestrian 20 feet at 7 mph, after the pedestrian was hit by a human-driven vehicle. In December, California Public Utilities Commission accused Cruise of a cover-up of the incident's severity.

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