GM’s autonomous robotaxi service Cruise is looking to cut costs in 2023 after spending close to $2 billion in 2022. Its plans to reduce expenses as the autonomous vehicle sector currently appears to be struggling with financial losses and ebbing investor confidence.
Both the challenges of developing the necessary self-driving technology and the considerable regulatory hurdles autonomous vehicles face are causing the sector’s problems, Reuters says in its report on Cruise’s latest moves.
On March 6th, Cruise chief operating officer Gil West said the company is looking to reduce expenditures wherever it can, while continuing development of its robotaxi service. He said Cruise will work to lower expenses by looking for less costly components and reducing the number of required components where possible.
Several of Cruise’s competitors have faced significant difficulties recently. Waymo, the self-driving technology division of Alphabet, Inc. has cut its employee count by 8 percent so far in 2023. This follows the autumn 2022 decision by Ford and Volkswagen to scrap their Argo AI autonomous vehicle joint venture.
Gil West was positive about Cruise’s future despite current speedbumps. Speaking at the same technology conference where he revealed the robotaxi company’s new focus on controlling costs, he effectively described GM’s ground-up Cruise Origin robotaxi as an upcoming game-charger. He said the Origin is a “big unlock” for Cruise and is on the verge of both certification and mass production this year.
Cruise, which is operational in San Francisco, Phoenix and Austin, announced its intention in December 2022 to branch out to new markets in 2023. It intends to both provide taxi rides for people and to get into the delivery sector with autonomous vehicle units outfitted with grocery lockers.
Cruise aims to generate annual revenue of $50 billion from its services by 2030. Gil West said he expects current obstacles to be resolved in 2023 and that rapid growth will follow. For this reason, he said during his conference remarks, 2023 is “a really pivotal year for us that will really transform not just Cruise, but the whole perception of autonomous vehicles.”