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Published on November 20, 2023
Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt Resigns amid Suspended Driverless Testing Permits and Operational SetbacksSource: Google Street View

Cruise co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt announced his resignation yesterday after leading the autonomous vehicle company for a decade. His Twitter post expressed gratitude for leading the company and shed light on their significant progress. Although Vogt didn't specify his future plans, he did express a wish to devote more time to his family and the exploration of new ideas.

Vogt's departure comes after facing numerous recent challenges. Last month, in response to an incident where a Cruise robotaxi hit and pinned a pedestrian who had just been hit by a car with a human driver in San Francisco, Cruise temporarily paused its national driverless robotaxi operations. Following the incident, the California DMV suspended Cruise's state driverless testing permits, as CBS News reported.

Cruise's permit to test with a safety driver inside was not affected by its driverless testing permit suspension. The company, a General Motors subsidiary, also has broadened its local operations to Phoenix, Arizona, and both Austin and Houston, Texas.

Cruise, facing operational setbacks, continues to deal with internal challenges too. CBS News reports that the company has recently laid off contract employees involved in managing the autonomous vehicle fleet for its ride-hailing service. Roles affected encompass support staff responsible for cleaning, charging, and service robotaxis, inclusive of customer service workers. The layoff's reason is a recall of the company's fleet to conduct a software update.

Despite these obstacles, Vogt remains optimistic about Cruise's future. He describes the company, via a Twitter post, as "brilliant, driven, and resilient," while highlighting its robust multi-year roadmap and dynamic product vision.