GM ends production of joint Honda Cruise driverless van
【Summary】GM plans to temporarily halt production of the Cruise Origin van, a fully autonomous vehicle developed in partnership with Honda. The decision comes shortly after Cruise announced a pause in all driverless operations. The company believes it has produced enough Origin vehicles for the near-term and intends to resume production later. Cruise's operations were suspended by California regulators due to concerns about public safety.
General Motors announced on Monday that it will temporarily halt production of its fully autonomous Cruise Origin van. This decision comes just days after the unit announced a pause in all driverless operations. The news was first reported by Forbes, which cited an audio recording of Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt's address at an all-hands meeting.
During the meeting, Vogt informed staff that the company has already produced hundreds of Origin vehicles, stating that it is "more than enough for the near-term when we are ready to ramp things back up." A GM spokesperson confirmed that production will be paused after completing a small number of pre-commercial vehicles.
The spokesperson emphasized the company's belief in the transformative power of autonomous vehicles, stating, "We believe autonomous vehicles will transform the way people move around the world, and the Origin is an important part of the AV journey."
Last month, Cruise, the driverless car unit of General Motors, announced a nationwide halt in operations after having its license suspended by California regulators. The regulators cited concerns that self-driving vehicles posed a risk to the public.
In February 2022, Cruise submitted a petition to U.S. regulators seeking permission to deploy up to 2,500 self-driving Origin vehicles annually without human controls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had previously stated that a decision on the petition would be made in "weeks," but last month, they opened a new probe into Cruise's precautions for pedestrian safety.
The Cruise Origin vehicle, which is built in Detroit, was jointly developed by GM, Cruise, and Honda. In response to ongoing investigations, Cruise's board has hired law firm Quinn Emanuel to review management's responses to regulators and technology consultancy Exponent to assess Cruise's technology.
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