In a significant move, General Motors (GM) has temporarily suspended production of its autonomous Cruise Origin van. This decision comes in the wake of the suspension of all driverless operations by Cruise, GM’s autonomous vehicle division. Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt conveyed this update during an all-hands meeting, disclosing that the company has already rolled out hundreds of Origin vehicles, a number he deems sufficient for the near future. A GM spokesperson affirmed the intention to halt production after the completion of a limited run of pre-commercial vehicles, reiterating their conviction that autonomous vehicles are poised to revolutionize the global transportation landscape, with the Origin at the forefront of this transformation.
Last month, Cruise made the strategic choice to cease operations nationwide after California regulators revoked the robotaxi operator’s license, citing concerns about the safety of self-driving vehicles. In February of 2022, Cruise submitted a petition to U.S. regulators, seeking approval to deploy up to 2,500 self-driving Origin vehicles annually, sans human controls like steering wheels. Initially, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration anticipated a swift decision on the petition, but last month they initiated a fresh inquiry to scrutinize Cruise’s endeavors in ensuring pedestrian safety.
The Cruise Origin vehicle, proudly built in Detroit, stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts of GM, Cruise, and Honda. In response to an incident on October 2, Cruise’s board has engaged the services of the law firm Quinn Emanuel to review the management’s interactions with regulators. Additionally, they have enlisted the expertise of technology consultancy firm Exponent to conduct an assessment of Cruise’s technology.
Against the backdrop of a dynamic landscape for autonomous vehicles, characterized by heightened regulatory scrutiny and rapid technological advancement, GM and Cruise maintain their steadfast commitment to propelling autonomous technology forward, with the Origin positioned as a central element in this paradigm-shifting evolution of transportation.