Cruise leadership pledges more transparency, greater culture of safety in new letter

Credit: Cruise

GM self-driving subsidiary Cruise has posted an update from its key executives. In a letter, the Cruise executives admitted to the company’s previous shortcomings. They also outlined their efforts to ensure that the robotaxi service provider could bounce back stronger than before. 

Back in October, a Cruise self-driving robotaxi in San Francisco was involved in an accident with a pedestrian, causing serious injuries. The aftermath of the incident was notable, with Cruise halting its operations in San Francisco and several executives departing the company. The CA DMV also alleged that Cruise “misrepresented” and “omitted” critical information about the accident. 

Cruise has been fairly quiet as it navigated the aftermath of the San Francisco incident. But in a recent letter, which was signed by Cruise President and Chief Technology Officer Mo Elshenawy; Cruise President and Chief Administrative Officer Craig B. Glidden; Cruise Chief Safety Officer Steve Kenner; and Cruise Chief Human Resources Officer Nilka Thomas, the executives pledged that the company would do its best to elevate its standards, especially when it comes to transparency and its partnership with the communities it serves. 

Following is the letter from Cruise’s executives. 

The promise of self-driving technology has always been extraordinary: less traffic in cities and more freedom for all riders, fewer accidents on roads and more accessible opportunities, less time wasted, and more moments to enjoy. At the heart of this mission, one thing has always been most important: a deep responsibility to make our roads safer. 

Last October, after one of our vehicles was involved in a severe incident—our response, including communicating transparently and proactively with regulators, communities and the media—fell well short of expectations. This required us to pause operations, make significant senior management changes, redouble efforts to enhance vehicle performance, and rebuild trust with all stakeholders. 

All of the steps we have taken after the accident have been in service of building a better, safer Cruise. Although we haven’t been on the roads, we have been advancing this mission every day. We thoroughly examined our standards, processes, and systems, guided by expert external reviews. We welcomed new leadership, strengthened our safety governance, recommitted to transparency, and refocused on our partnership directly with community leaders and residents. 

We know that maintaining a culture of safety means this work will never be done. As we look to the challenge ahead, this is our promise: 

To continually and consistently strengthen our safety culture through elevated standards, transparent communication, and deep partnership with the communities we serve.

Safety has always been our guiding principle, and it continues to be what motivates us—because every life lost on our roads is unacceptable. We know that self-driving technology has the potential to save lives, make cities safer, and improve life for everyone. 

This vision has always been big, and we will not give up on this important work. 

Mo Elshenawy, President and Chief Technology Officer

Craig B. Glidden, President and Chief Administrative Officer

Steve Kenner, Chief Safety Officer 

Nilka Thomas, Chief Human Resources Officer

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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