GM halts production of collaborative driverless van with Honda
【Summary】GM plans to temporarily halt production of its autonomous Cruise Origin van, co-developed with Honda, after already producing hundreds of vehicles. This comes after Cruise announced a pause in all driverless operations and faced regulatory scrutiny. The company believes autonomous vehicles will revolutionize transportation. Cruise's management is under review by law firm Quinn Emanuel and technology consultancy Exponent following an accident investigation.
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 the 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 spokesperson from GM confirmed that they are currently finishing production on a small number of pre-commercial vehicles and plan to temporarily pause production afterwards.
The spokesperson emphasized the company's belief in the transformative power of autonomous vehicles, stating that they see the Origin as an important part of the autonomous vehicle journey. Last month, Cruise, the driverless car unit of General Motors, announced a nationwide halt in operations after California regulators suspended its license, citing concerns about the safety of self-driving vehicles.
In February 2022, Cruise petitioned U.S. regulators to allow the deployment of up to 2,500 self-driving Origin vehicles annually without human controls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had initially expected to make a decision on the petition within weeks, but last month, they opened a new investigation into Cruise's safety precautions after an ongoing investigation from December.
The Cruise Origin vehicle, which is built in Detroit, was developed jointly by GM, Cruise, and Honda. In response to the Oct. 2 accident and ongoing investigations, Cruise's board has hired law firm Quinn Emanuel to review management's responses to regulators and technology consultancy Exponent to review Cruise's technology.
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