Home Market News The Rise and Fall of Self-Driving Giants: GM Cruise Hits the Brakes as Waymo Races Ahead

The Rise and Fall of Self-Driving Giants: GM Cruise Hits the Brakes as Waymo Races Ahead

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The Rise and Fall of Self-Driving Giants: GM Cruise Hits the Brakes as Waymo Races Ahead
Self-Driving Cars, Now Common In San Francisco, Bring Backlash From Residents

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General Motors’ self-driving venture, Cruise, once a fierce competitor, has hit a major roadblock, while Alphabet’s Waymo is speeding ahead, bypassing safety concerns and regulatory hurdles. The two companies, which were once running neck-and-neck, have taken starkly different paths recently.

Cruise’s troubles have been compounded by safety issues, including a hit-and-run incident that has led to regulatory scrutiny and a temporary pause in operations, leaving the company’s valuation at an “all-time low”. Meanwhile, Waymo, the self-driving vehicle unit of Alphabet, has maintained its momentum, receiving positive engagement from regulators and enjoying a surge in public perception.

Mo Elshenawy, Cruise’s new president and CTO, remarked on the company’s abrupt shift in fortune, acknowledging that they had gone from being an industry leader to facing significant challenges. This change followed the departure of Cruise’s co-founders, adding further turmoil to the company’s leadership. Cruise may potentially face hefty fines as a result of its failure to disclose the details of the hit-and-run incident.

Conversely, Waymo’s product chief, Saswat Panigrahi, expressed confidence in the company’s steady progress, highlighting the positive rapport with regulators and the overwhelming public approval. Panigrahi attributed Waymo’s success to a decade of dedicated work and emphasized the absence of shortcuts in achieving their goals.

Waymo’s ridership has soared, with more than a 10-fold increase in trips this year in both Phoenix and San Francisco, putting them well ahead of their competition. These recent developments paint a clear picture of the contrasting fortunes of these two self-driving giants, with Cruise in a tailspin and Waymo surging forward.