Cruise, General Motors’ driverless car subsidiary, will soon lay off employees. According to Forbes, the company’s CEO Kyle Vogt told staff of the decision in an all-hands meeting earlier this week. Cruise hasn’t yet decided who or how many people will lose their jobs, Vogt said, but promised to provide more details in the next three weeks. The company will also conduct internal “listening sessions”, and explore building websites detailing collisions Cruise cars are involved in, Forbes said.
The news comes on the heels of multiple crises facing the company since October after a Cruise robotaxi dragged a San Francisco pedestrian thrown into its path more than 20 feet before braking to a halt. That incident caused California’s DMV to revoke Cruise’s operating permit in the state. In a statement, the DMV said that Cruise’s vehicles “are not safe for the public’s operation”, and said that Cruise had “misrepresented” information relating to the safety of its autonomous vehicles.
Weeks after the incident, Cruise, which operated in San Francisco, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Miami, and Phoenix, fully paused its driverless operations. This week, General Motors recalled Cruise’s entire fleet of 950 robotaxis.
Other reports, based on Cruise's internal safety documents, showed that the car’s algorithms had trouble identifying children, something that Cruise employees knew about.
On Wednesday, Cruise published a blog post responding to the recent events. The company said that it was looking to hire a Chief Safety Officer who would report directly to Vogt. Cruise will also hire a third-party law firm to review its response to the October incident. The firm, Quinn Emmanuel, is known for its work for Tesla and Elon Musk, CNBC noted.