Cruise has lost two of its senior staff just weeks after the company was forced to stop its robotaxi service in California after the state’s DMV determined the vehicles to be unsafe for public operation.
CEO Kyle Vogt announced his resignation on Sunday, and Reuters learned on Monday that Chief Product Officer Daniel Kan has also quit. Both former executives are the co-founders of the company.
Cruise hasn’t provided any details on the departure of its co-founders.
However, it likely has to do with the extra scrutiny the company faces following an accident in San Francisco in early October in which a female pedestrian was thrown into the path of a Cruise robotaxi after she was hit by another vehicle in the adjacent lane. The driver of the other non-Cruise vehicle fled the scene.
Cruise’s robotaxi braked hard to avoid the impact but still came into contact with the pedestrian. Following an initial stop, the robotaxi then continued for another 20 feet in attempt to pull over, which Cruise said was done to avoid further road safety issues. However, the maneuver resulted in the robotaxi dragging the pedestrian.
The California DMV in late October pulled the permit that allowed Cruise’s robotaxis to operate without a safety driver. Cruise followed by ceasing operations of its robotaxis nationwide.
General Motors is the biggest backer of the self-driving technology startup, and the automaker, which supplies vehicles for Cruise’s robotaxi fleets, said on Sunday it remains committed to the venture. GM alone has invested close to $6 billion in Cruise since the start of 2020. Honda, Microsoft, and Walmart have also invested in Cruise.
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