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December 14, 2023
June 10, 2024

Cruise Layoffs: What Happened & Why?

In December 2023, Cruise, the GM self-driving car subsidiary, made headlines by laying off 900 employees, or 24% of its workforce. This significant reduction primarily affected non-engineering roles and followed an incident involving one of the company's robotaxis. In this article, we'll discuss what happened, why it occurred, and the potential future impact on Cruise and the autonomous vehicle industry.

Why did Cruise have layoffs?

The layoffs at Cruise were primarily driven by the need to cut costs and revamp the company following an incident involving one of its robotaxis. This decision came after the dismissal of nine senior leaders and the company's permit to operate its vehicles on public roads in California being revoked. Cruise decided to slow down the commercialization of its autonomous products to focus on improving its technology, especially after scrutiny surrounding the safety of its autonomous ride-share vehicles.

While the broader industry and economic trends were not explicitly mentioned in the sources, it can be inferred that Cruise's layoffs are connected to the challenges faced by the autonomous vehicle industry in ensuring safety and gaining public trust. Affected employees were offered severance packages, including eight weeks of pay, health benefits through May 2024, and additional pay for long-term employees based on their years of service.

Financial Impact and Future Directions

Cruise has announced significant layoffs affecting 24% of its workforce as part of a strategic shift. The company is focusing its efforts on refining its Bolt platform and launching a fully driverless L4 service in one city before planning any further expansion.

This approach marks a pivot from previous plans to expand into multiple new cities, underscoring a more concentrated effort on ensuring service excellence and reliability in a singular market first. This strategy is designed to streamline operations and foster a stronger foundation for sustainable growth and future scaling​.

Impact on Industry

Cruise's recent layoffs and restructuring efforts signal a shift in the autonomous vehicle industry, emphasizing the importance of safety and public trust. As Cruise refocuses on improving its technology and vehicle performance, the transportation industry may experience a slower adoption of autonomous ride-hailing services. However, Cruise's plan to return with exceptional service in one city before scaling up could set a precedent for other companies, ultimately leading to safer and more reliable autonomous transportation options in the future.


Cruise's layoffs, primarily affecting non-engineering roles, were driven by cost-cutting and restructuring after a robotaxi incident. The company now aims to improve its technology and regain public trust by focusing on the Bolt platform in one city before expanding. This shift could lead to slower adoption of autonomous ride-hailing services but may set a precedent for safer and more reliable options. Cruise's future actions could have lasting implications on the autonomous vehicle industry.