General Motors’ (GM) Cruise robotaxis CEO Kyle Vogt has resigned. Prior to this, last Saturday, November 18, Mr. Vogt apologized in an email to Cruise employees for the problems of the company, which is currently undergoing regulatory review after an accident involving one of the robotaxis. In his letter, which the agency reviewed Reuters, he wrote that “the last ten years have been amazing” and that “Cruise is still in its early days and has a great future.” He also said he takes full responsibility for the “situation that Cruise finds itself in” and noted that “we need to redouble our efforts on safety, transparency and community engagement.”
Kyle Vogt founded the startup Cruise in 2013. In 2016, the startup was acquired by General Motors Corporation. Over the years, it has raised billions of dollars from companies including Honda, Microsoft, Softbank Vision Fund, Walmart, T. Rowe and GM itself. Cruise received approval to launch its robotaxis in San Francisco in the summer of 2022.
In August 2023, San Francisco authorities gave permission for round-the-clock commercial operation of the Cruise robotaxi in the city. However, on October 2, one of the company’s unmanned taxis was involved in an accident: an ordinary car with a driver hit a pedestrian, who, because of this, flew into the oncoming lane, where he was hit by a Cruise robotaxi, which was unable to stop in time.
As part of the investigation into the incident, the company in November announced about the recall of all 950 robotaxis that were tested on the streets of different US cities. The investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is still ongoing. GM CEO Mary Barra has made a series of changes to Cruise’s leadership to manage the company through the period of scrutiny and litigation.