Cruise Chief Says Driverless Tech Needs Work to Match Human Capability

General Motors' robo-taxi unit placed too much faith in technology, admits new president.

Paul Myles, European Editor

December 6, 2023

1 Min Read
Cruise San Fran
GM's Cruise chief admits failings in robo-taxi business.

The new president of General Motors' Cruise business, Mo Elshenawy, says the company took the "wrong" approach as it developed self-driving cars, according to Reuters, reporting on a message to employees during a company all-hands call. The news agency says it viewed a transcript of the call.

This is his first official response to the company having to suspend all operations in the U.S. after one of its robo-taxis in San Francisco performed a maneuver following a collision with a pedestrian that saw the vehicle drag the victim under its wheels. The company is also facing legal action by the California Public Utilities Commission for “misleading the commission through omission regarding the extent and seriousness of the accident” in regards to video evidence and for “making misleading public comments regarding its interactions with the commission.”

Elshenawy told company staff: “We now know that we need to be significantly better than human performance and significantly better across a much wider spectrum of use cases and edge cases. Our integrity, our competency are being questioned and this really hurts. We went from an all-time high to an all-time low and from being an industry leader to temporary pausing all of our operations. We don't have a deep reservoir of trust with all of our stakeholders and our regulators. This last week a Cruiser shared with me that they don't wear their Cruise jacket in public anymore. It truly breaks my heart.”

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

Subscribe to a WardsAuto newsletter today!
Get the latest automotive news delivered daily or weekly. With 5 newsletters to choose from, each curated by our Editors, you can decide what matters to you most.

You May Also Like