Cruise names first chief safety officer following crash and controversy

Date:

Share post:


Cruise has named its first “chief safety officer” as part of the company’s effort to rehabilitate itself following an incident — and ensuing controversy — last year that left a pedestrian stuck under and then dragged by one of its robotaxis.

Steve Kenner, an autonomous vehicle industry veteran who has held top safety roles at Kodiak, Locomation, Aurora and Uber’s now-defunct self-driving division, is filling the newly created role. Kenner will report directly to Cruise president and chief administrative officer Craig Glidden. He will “oversee Cruise’s safety management systems and operations” and work “in direct partnership with the Cruise Board of Directors,” the company said in a statement Monday.

Louise Zhang, a VP of safety and systems at Cruise and one of the highest ranking safety-related employees prior to Kenner’s arrival, will remain in her position.

Kenner’s appointment comes just three weeks after the release of a 195-page report by law firm Quinn Emanuel examining the October crash, where a Cruise robotaxi struck and dragged a pedestrian who was previously hit by a human-driven car, as well as the company’s response. That report ultimately determined that Cruise’s leadership had a “myopic” focus on the media’s response to the crash, and that it left out important facts when discussing the event with the public and with regulators.

The crash, and Cruise’s handling of it, are now the subject of many government investigations. The Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, California Department of Motor Vehicles, California Public Utilities Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are all probing the company’s actions.

Kenner will start his new role at the company at a time when the entire robotaxi fleet is grounded. Cruise recently slashed its workforce by 24% and pushed out a number of high-level employees. Cruise co-founder and Kyle Vogt and co-founder Dan Kan resigned last year.

General Motors, which owns Cruise, has said it will scale back investment in the autonomous vehicle company by $1 billion this year. The automaker installed Glidden as chief administrative officer in November as it started sorting through why the company handled the October crash so poorly.



Source link

Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

Recent posts

Related articles

Waymo can now charge for robotaxi rides in LA and on San Francisco freeways

Waymo received approval Friday afternoon from the California Public Utilities Commission to operate a commercial robotaxi service...

Rabbit’s Jesse Lyu on the nature of startups: ‘Grow faster, or die faster,’ just don’t give up

Rabbit co-founder and CEO Jesse Lyu isn’t afraid of death… the death of the company, at least....

Stay up-to-date on the amount of venture dollars going to underrepresented founders

Venture capital funding has never been robust for women or Black and brown founders. Alongside Crunchbase, we’ve...

MWC 2024: Everything announced so far, including Swayy’s app to tell friends where you’ll be next

The TechCrunch team is in Barcelona this week to bring you all the action going on at...

Is there anything AI can’t do?

Welcome to Startups Weekly — your weekly recap of everything you can’t miss from the world of...

Ultraleap is bringing haptic touch to cars and VR headsets

In May 2019, Ultrahaptics and Leap Motion became Ultraleap (not to be confused with Magic Leap, which...

Rants, AI and other notes from Upfront Summit

The venture capital stars were shining in Los Angeles this week at the Upfront Summit, an invite-only...

Threads says it will make its API broadly available by June

Meta-owned social network Threads said today that it will make its API broadly available to developers by...