2023: Cruise’s Robotaxi Dream Crashes and Burns

The new year had seen a promising start for robotaxi projects, with General Motors backing Cruise and Google supporting Waymo. However, Cruise faced a major setback when one of its driverless taxis was involved in a hit-and-run accident in San Francisco. The incident prompted investigations and led to a series of problematic revelations regarding Cruise’s prioritization of speed over safety. Despite plans for expansion, Cruise ultimately suffered a more severe blow when its license was suspended, causing GM to slash funding and initiate layoffs. Consequently, Cruise announced a shift in focus to the Chevy Bolt AV robotaxi platform and the suspension of its custom-built Origin vehicle. Meanwhile, Waymo also encountered challenges, despite receiving positive feedback on the safety of its vehicles. As the year winds down, the self-driving vehicle industry faces uncertainties and changes in its pursuit of public trust and operational safety.