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Driverless Car Firm Cruise to Cut 900 Jobs

Cruise, the self-driving vehicle business which is majority owned by General Motors, is to cut 900 jobs.

The announcement comes as safety officials investigate the firm after reports of injuries to pedestrians.

Cruise pulled all of its US vehicles from testing this autumn after California halted its driverless testing permit.

The company’s chief executive Kyle Vogt and co-founder Dan Kan have also both resigned in recent weeks.

On Thursday, Cruise confirmed the job cuts amounted to 24% of its workforce and were “primarily in commercial operations and related corporate functions”.

“These changes reflect our decision to focus on more deliberate commercialization plans with safety as our North star,” a statement said.

The start-up added that it was supporting staff with “strong severance and benefits packages”.

Last month, General Motors said it would cut costs at Cruise, which lost more than $700m in the third quarter, taking total losses to more than $8bn since 2016, according to news agency Reuters.

“GM supports the difficult employment decisions made by Cruise,” a GM spokesman said.

In October, the California Department of Motor Vehicles ordered Cruise to remove its driverless cars from the state’s roads and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced an investigation into its fleet.

The moves came after two accidents involving pedestrians, both which involved people crossing after the cars’ traffic lights had turned green.

In one incident from August 2023, the self-driving car hit someone at 1.4mph, while in the other incident, from October, the driverless car dragged a woman who had been thrown into its path after getting hit by another car, which was being driven by a person.

The October report said the driverless car “braked aggressively” but was not able to stop in time. Both the incidents happened at night.

Cruise has previously said its safety record “continues to outperform comparable human drivers”.

Cruise is not the only driverless car company facing safety questions.

Tesla is recalling more than two million cars after the US regulator found its driver assistance system, Autopilot, was partly defective.

It follows a two-year investigation into crashes which occurred when the technology was in use.

Source : BBC