Cruise starts layoff after pausing all driverless operations

Friday, November 10, 2023



Following the suspension of its autonomous operations and the loss of critical permits in San Francisco, GM’s self-driving vehicle subsidiary, Cruise, has begun layoffs of contingent personnel. These contractors were in charge of cleaning, charging, and repairing the autonomous cars, as well as resolving customer support concerns. The precise number of employees affected has not been released.

Cruise co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt informed staff of the decision to fire off contingent workers during an all-hands meeting, stating that the layoffs would begin three weeks later. The layoffs were attributed to the company’s decision to prioritize supervised driving over autonomous operations.

Cruise has had difficulties in recent months, resulting in the suspension of its autonomous car permit by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Cruise’s authority to charge for robotaxi trips was also cancelled by the California Public Utilities Commission.

These moves followed an incident on October 2 in which a Cruise robotaxi attempted to pull over after a person was struck by a human driver, dragging the pedestrian roughly 20 feet. This event contributed to the suspension of Cruise’s licences.

Following the October 2 collision, Cruise issued a recall for 950 vehicles outfitted with its autonomous software, citing problems with the robotaxi’s reaction system. In post-collision settings, the collision detection subsystem was discovered to tell the Cruise AV to attempt to pull over instead of remaining stationary, an unexpected response.

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