Ford and its partner Volkswagen decided to shut down the pair’s autonomous commercial vehicle company Argo AI back in October 2022, a decision that was made as the two came to the conclusion that Level 4 and 5 autonomy aren’t currently viable, nor close to being profitable. However, Ford later hired around 600 former Argo AI engineers and is using the company’s old buildings to launch its own self-driving company called Latitude AI, which will focus on Level 2 and 3 autonomy, starting with an L3 version of BlueCruise. Meanwhile, Ford’s cross-town rival General Motors is stuck dealing with a PR nightmare after one of its Cruise AVs trapped and drug a pedestrian down the road after that person was hit by another vehicle last year. According to GM Authority, following that incident, it will take some time to regain public trust in its AV offerings, too.
“In the next four to five years, you’ll see, hopefully, we regain that trust,” said General Motors President Mark Reuss. “We continue on the technical progress for that. I’d say in the next one to two years, we return back to the roads with great products and great delivery for both the taxi piece of it, but also delivering goods to people that can’t, don’t have mobility perhaps or for companies that need an autonomous delivery system. So we’ll do that. And I think we’re capable of doing it.”
For now, GM plans for its Cruise AVs to return to public roads at some point, though that effort will be limited to just one city to start. Regardless, this incident proved to a be a substantial setback, and as a result, GM pushed its timeline and goals for the company back recently, though it still expects it to reach $80 million in revenue by 2030. This year, the automaker is slashing $1 billion from Cruise’s budget, too.
In the meantime, GM is still dealing with the fallout of the aforementioned incident, which effectively Brough Cruise’s operations to a halt. The company’s CEO and founder Kyle Vogt resigned shortly afterward – while several other executives were fired – and as Ford Authority recently reported, GM may ultimately cancel its planned Ultra Cruise feature as a result as well.