In the wake of a recent incident involving one of its driverless vehicles in San Francisco, Cruise, the autonomous vehicle subsidiary of General Motors (GM), has announced a temporary halt in the production of its Origin self-driving vans. This decision comes as part of a broader initiative to scale back operations significantly in the coming months.
According to a report from Automotive News, Cruise revealed on Wednesday that it does not plan to manufacture any of its Origin driverless vehicles in 2024. Instead, the company will shift its immediate focus towards the Bolt-based Cruise AVs, with a longer-term strategy for the Origin model.
A spokesperson for Cruise stated, “We've made the decision to focus on the Bolt-based Cruise AVs in the near term, with a longer-term strategy around the Origin.”
The company, which had initially intended to debut its autonomous vehicles in 13 U.S. cities, did not specify which city it would choose for its scaled-back operations or provide a timeline for resuming full-scale activities.
Cruise is set to produce a limited number of pre-commercial prototypes in the coming weeks, but GM clarified that no production models or prototypes are planned for 2024. The exact number of Origin vans produced by GM for Cruise remains undisclosed, although former CEO Kyle Vogt mentioned the production of hundreds of vehicles earlier this month.
In light of the October 2 accident involving a Cruise robotaxi and a pedestrian, Cruise's permit to operate driverless vehicles was revoked by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The incident has also prompted a federal investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Cruise has taken steps to address the situation by hiring third-party legal and tech firms to review both its technology and its response to the accident.
Former CEO Kyle Vogt resigned from Cruise earlier this week, and he was followed by fellow executive and co-founder Daniel Kan. The company remains under scrutiny as it navigates regulatory challenges and works towards a comprehensive resolution.