The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced on Tuesday that it has suspended the operations indefinitely due to safety issues with the vehicles.

"When there is an unreasonable risk to public safety, DMV can immediately suspend or revoke permits," the DMV statement said. "There is no set timeline for reinstatement."

This action was taken after one of Cruise's autonomous vehicles struck a pedestrian in downtown San Francisco earlier this month. The incident involved a woman who was first hit by a human driver and was then thrown onto the road in front of the Cruise vehicle. The Cruise vehicle initially braked but then continued to push the pedestrian forward before coming to a complete stop on top of her.

Rescuers used jaws of life to lift the vehicle and free the woman. The pedestrian survived but sustained life-threatening injuries.

"Our teams are currently conducting an analysis to determine potential improvements in AV (autonomous vehicle) response to such extremely rare events," said Navideh Forghani, a representative of Cruise.

Forghani stated that Cruise has provided video footage of the incident to regulatory authorities and is complying with the DMV's order by "pausing operations." Vehicles equipped with a human safety driver will still be allowed to operate in the state.

Initially, the DMV had granted Cruise permission to deploy 300 autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, but this number was reduced by half after one of their vehicles collided with a firetruck in August.

Autonomous vehicles from companies like Cruise, owned by GM, and Waymo, owned by Alphabet, have been involved in numerous accidents in the city over the past few months. They have run red lights, rear-ended buses, and blocked pedestrian crossings and bike lanes.

San Francisco police and fire departments have also stated that the vehicles are not ready for use on public roads. They have reported over 55 incidents where autonomous vehicles impeded emergency operations. These incidents include crossing yellow emergency lanes, blocking fire station driveways, running over fire hoses, and refusing to yield to emergency responders.

Despite these incidents, state regulators voted in August to allow autonomous vehicle companies to expand their operations in San Francisco and other California cities. This prompted the city of San Francisco to request a halt to this expansion.

"We need real people behind the wheel, with a pulse and a brain, who know how to navigate complex situations," said San Francisco Mayor Shamann Walton at a Tuesday rally protesting autonomous vehicles. "These Cruise vehicles are dangerous on our streets. When they see a tragedy, see danger, or encounter an obstacle in their path, all they know how to do is freeze."

Federal regulatory authorities are also monitoring the safety of autonomous vehicles. Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiated an investigation into Cruise, citing safety concerns for pedestrians.

The crackdown on Cruise comes after GM announced during its financial results report this week that it intends to expand its autonomous vehicle program in the United States.