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Cruise is using food bank deliveries as cover to run tests that may violate stay-home orders, drivers say

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GM Robot Car Cruise Photo by Andrej Sokolow / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Cruise’s self-driving cars are back on the road in San Francisco, but the company may be skirting the city’s shelter-in-place rules in its rush to get there, some of the company’s backup drivers say.

In late April, Cruise announced that it would be redeploying some of its autonomous vehicles to help make deliveries for a pair of food banks in San Francisco. The pandemic had forced the company, a subsidiary of General Motors, to halt its operations in mid-March. Engineers, developers, and backup drivers were told to stay at home, as the city’s shelter-in-place order made public road testing impossible.

But the company found a philanthropic loophole that would allow it to spring some of its vehicles out of pandemic-imposed dormancy. “We...

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