(MENAFN) In a significant development, Kyle Vogt has stepped down as the CEO of Cruise, General Motors' autonomous vehicle division, amidst escalating safety concerns surrounding self-driving cars. The decision, revealed on Sunday, comes on the heels of a recent recall of all 950 Cruise vehicles to address software issues, triggered by an incident where one vehicle dragged a pedestrian in San Francisco. The California Department of Motor Vehicles subsequently revoked Cruise's license.
Cruise had temporarily halted operations for an independent review following the recall. The company emphasized its commitment to building a safer and more transparent autonomous vehicle (AV) system, stating, "The results of our ongoing reviews will inform additional next steps as we work to build a better Cruise centered around safety, transparency, and trust."
Having gained approval to transport paying passengers in the previous year, Cruise's AVs faced criticism for unexpected stops causing traffic disruptions. Late last year, U.S. safety regulators initiated an investigation into reports of Cruise's autonomous vehicles stopping abruptly or unexpectedly ceasing movement, potentially leaving passengers stranded.
These challenges at Cruise could potentially impede the widespread deployment of fully autonomous vehicles, leading to increased federal regulation and impacting passenger-carrying AV services across various cities. Cruise had been conducting tests with 300 robotaxis during the day and 100 at night in San Francisco, with the latter allowed to charge for rides in less congested areas.
Cruise's statement confirmed the acceptance of Vogt's resignation by the board. Mo Elshenawy, Cruise’s executive vice president of engineering, is set to assume the roles of president and chief technology officer, while Craig Glidden will continue as president and chief administrative officer for Cruise.
General Motors initially acquired a majority stake in Cruise in 2016 when it was still a startup, eventually securing an 80 percent stake in May 2021. Vogt, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumnus, was also a co-founder of Twitch, a livestreaming service subsequently acquired by Amazon for approximately USD1 billion in 2014.
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