Cruise Prepares for Limited Restart of Driverless Taxi Service in the US

When it comes time for Cruise to re-launch its driverless taxi service in the US, it will do so on a much smaller scale, and in only one city.

California banned Cruise’s self-driving taxi service after a series of incidents, with one of the most serious happening recently when one of the GM-owned company’s vehicles drove over a pedestrian who was knocked down by another vehicle driven by a human. In the aftermath Cruise decided to pause not only its driverless operations, but also trips with safety drivers, and not only in California. Heads then rolled, including the resignations of CEO Kyle Vogt and chief product officer Daniel Kan. The incident also caused Cruise to pause the Origin’s (driverless pod that carries multiple passengers) production.

While the company has not given a date for when it will resume service, when it does it will be in a single city. The company says it will not expand beyond that one city until they are confident in the performance of their autonomous vehicles.

“Once we have taken steps to improve our safety culture and rebuild trust, our strategy is to re-launch in one city and prove our performance there, before expanding,” Cruise said in an official statement. (via Reuters)

Cruise has also not revealed where it would re-launch, but it is not likely to be California, where it would need the California DMV to reverse its decision and reinstate its license. However, Cruise also operates in Phoenix and Austin, making them likely destinations.

Cruise also sent out an email to employees, announcing that it would be cutting jobs, “primarily in non-engineering roles.” The company promised it would provide more details in mid-December.

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