GM is drastically cutting its investments in Cruise, its autonomous vehicle subsidiary, following a series of challenges and operational setbacks that have made the company’s self-driving robotaxis notorious on the streets of San Francisco and in other test markets.
Engadget reports that GM has announced a drastic reduction in funding for its self-driving vehicle arm, Cruise. This decision, unveiled during a recent conference call by company executives, entails a cutback of “hundreds of millions of dollars” in the next year. The investment cut comes in the wake of several hurdles the company has faced, including regulatory challenges and safety concerns.
Kyle Vogt former CEO of GM’s Cruise (Kimberly White /Getty)
Cruise Robotaxi (Cruise)
The scaling back of investment is expected to have a profound impact to Cruise, particularly for the nearly 4,000 employees at the company. This month, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt, along with co-founder Dan Kan, resigned, signaling a significant shift in the company’s leadership and strategic direction.
Cruise has faced notable challenges recently, including an accident involving one of its robotaxis hitting a pedestrian, and issues with its driverless algorithm’s ability to recognize children. These incidents have raised safety concerns, prompting the establishment of two independent safety and incident review boards.
Breitbart News previously reported that Cruise suspended all of its driverless operations nationwide following an incident on October 2 in San Francisco. A Cruise autonomous vehicle struck and dragged a pedestrian, causing severe injuries that led to her death. The shutdown came after California’s Department of Motor Vehicles accused Cruise of omitting footage showing the car dragging the woman from video it shared with regulators. The DMV ordered Cruise to cease driverless services in the state.
GM’s commitment to Cruise has been substantial, with billions invested since its acquisition in 2016. Despite these investments and ambitious plans for expansion, the latest earnings report indicates that Cruise has already expended $732 million in the first three quarters of 2023 alone. This spending surge, aimed at launching operations in numerous U.S. cities, has now hit a major roadblock.
Read more at Engadget here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.