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Cruise to lay off 900 employees after serious accident and safety problems

Cruise Automation self driving Chevrolet Bolt

General Motors-owned Cruise has internally announced plans to cut 900 jobs or 24 percent of its workforce.

The reductions mainly affect commercial operations and related corporate functions.

The announcement comes just a day after it terminated nine key leaders for the firm’s response to an incident in October.

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The accident involved a pedestrian who was dragged 20 feet by a Cruise self-driving car after being hit by another vehicle.

Cruise initially had 3,800 employees and saw previous contractor layoffs last month. 

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Those affected will receive paychecks until February 12 and at least eight weeks of pay and severance based on their tenure. 

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A Cruise spokesperson said: “We shared the difficult news that we are reducing our workforce, primarily in commercial operations and related corporate functions. 

“These changes reflect our decision to focus on more deliberate commercialization plans with safety as our north star. 

“We are supporting impacted Cruisers with strong severance and benefits packages and are grateful to the departing employees who played important roles in building Cruise and supporting our mission.”

The company is focusing on developing a fully driverless L4 service and plans to relaunch ride-hailing in one city initially. 

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GM added: “GM supports the difficult employment decisions made by Cruise as it reflects their more deliberate path forward, with safety as the north star. 

“We are confident in the team and committed to supporting Cruise as they set the company up for long-term success with a focus on trust, accountability and transparency.”

Safety concerns and incidents

Cruise has faced a series of safety concerns and incidents since gaining approval in August for its robotaxi service in San Francisco. 

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Following the October accident, the robotaxi fleet was grounded, key leadership roles were eliminated, and production of a new robotaxi was halted. 

The company also faced vehicle recalls and government investigations.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles also suspended its deployment and testing permits.

Last month, Cruise said it would suspend all trips on public roads.

It also announced a reorganization, more oversight from GM, and an independent safety expert to assess safety operations.

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