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    Cruise receives $850 million lifeline from GM as it resumes robotaxi testing

    General Motors is making an investment of $850 million into Cruise, its autonomous vehicle subsidiary, marking a step towards revival of the once-halted robotaxi service. This injection of funds was unveiled by GM’s CFO Paul Jacobson during Deutsche Bank’s Global Automotive Industry Conference.

    The money will help Cruise to cover its operational costs as it resumes testing its autonomous vehicles in select cities in the United States, The Verge reported. Apart from the latest fund infusion, the automaker is also in search of new external investors to help better its financial situation.

    “This will help bridge Cruise funding until we can find the right long-term capital efficient strategy, including potential new partnerships and external funding,” the company’s spokesperson Tiffany Testo told TechCrunch.

    Cruise’s struggles began last year with a series of incidents that eroded public trust. In September, two of its vehicles were blamed for delaying an ambulance, and in October, a Cruise robotaxi dragged a pedestrian who had been struck by another car. These events led to a complete shutdown of the company’s driverless car operations and a leadership overhaul, with both the CEO and CPO stepping down.

    However, Cruise is not giving up. The company has begun reintroducing its vehicles on the roads in Phoenix, Dallas, and now Houston, albeit with human safety drivers behind the wheel. Rigorous safety procedures and protocols are deployed, encompassing product safety, operational safety, and enterprise safety.

    In conclusion, the success of GM’s investment hinges on Cruise’s ability to regain public confidence and demonstrate the safety and reliability of its self-driving technology. While the $850 million provides breathing room, Cruise will need to navigate a challenging landscape to deliver on GM’s self-driving dreams.

    Author

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    Monika Asthana

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