As GM Authority has been closely following, General Motors’ autonomous driving subsidiary Cruise had its driverless operation license suspended by the California DMV following several incidents with its Cruise AV units. Now, Cruise’s board has hired an outside law firm to investigate these occurrences.
According to a report from The New York Times, the Quinn Emanuel law firm has been hired to investigate the company’s response to the incidents. This includes interactions with regulators, law enforcement, and the media. Following a conclusion to the investigation, the board plans to evaluate the findings and any recommended changes.
It’s worth noting that Exponent, a consulting firm that evaluates complex software systems, is also conducting a separate review of the incidents.
Interestingly, some folks feel as though these recent issues with Cruise stem from the self-driving subsidiary’s CEO, Kyle Vogt. More specifically, they believe that Vogt put a priority on the speed of development of the company over safety, largely driven by the desire to dominate Waymo.
“Kyle is a guy who is willing to take risks, and he is willing to move quickly,” Cardozo School of Law Professor Matthew Wansley stated. “He is very Silicon Valley. That both explains the success of Cruise and its mistakes.”
For his part, Vogt acknowledged that Cruise had lost the public’s trust following these incidents, and outlined a plan to become more transparent in an effort to regain this trust. To this end, he appointed Cruise Vice President of Safety Louise Zhang as the company’s Interim Chief Safety Officer, who will then report directly to him.
“Trust is one of those things that takes a long time to build and just seconds to lose,” Vogt claimed in a prepared statement. “We need to get to the bottom of this and start rebuilding that trust.”