Independent Review Blames GM's Cruise Robotaxi Mess on "Poor Leadership"

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jan 26, 2024 - 05:00 PM

An independent review paid for by General Motors and Cruise revealed how the embattled autonomous vehicle company's executives mishandled a robotaxi crash in San Francisco last year that left a woman severely injured.

On Thursday, law firm Quinn Emanuel published a 195-page report of Cruise's actions in the days leading up to the October 2 accident, as well as after, in which a hit-and-run-driver hit a pedestrian directly into the path of a robotaxi operated by Cruise, which then dragged the woman 20 feet who was trapped underneath the vehicle. This led to a nationwide grounding of Cruise's robotaxis. 

"The reasons for Cruise's failings in this instance are numerous: poor leadership, mistakes in judgment, lack of coordination, an "us versus them" mentality with regulators, and a fundamental misapprehension of Cruise's obligations of accountability and transparency to the government and the public. Cruise must take decisive steps to address these issues in order to restore trust and credibility," Quinn Emanuel wrote in the report. 

Incident area 

Cruise robotaxi 

The report noted that Cruise executives didn't intentionally mislead regulators but that their initial disclosures were inadequate:

"Despite the failure to discuss the pullover maneuver or pedestrian dragging with regulators, the evidence reviewed to date does not establish that Cruise leadership or employees sought to intentionally mislead or hide from regulators the details of the October 2 Accident. Instead, they attempted to show the Full Video of the Accident in good faith, but with varying degrees of success due to technical issues."

The report said "internet connectivity issues" prevent government regulators from reviewing the full crash video. 

"However, in three of these meetings, internet connectivity issues likely precluded or hampered them from seeing the Full Video clearly and fully. And Cruise failed to augment the Full Video by affirmatively pointing out the pullover maneuver and dragging of the pedestrian."

Until the crash, Cruise pushed hard to roll out its robotaxi nationwide. Since then, GM has slashed its investments in Cruise.