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Cruise Lays Off Staff in Pivot From Self-Driving Hiring Spree

  • Company announces it’s cutting about 8% of full-time employees
  • Planned autonomous taxi service debut was postponed last year
The Cruise Origin electric driverless shuttle is displayed during a reveal event in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Jan. 21.

The Cruise Origin electric driverless shuttle is displayed during a reveal event in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Jan. 21.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
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Cruise, the self-driving car unit majority owned by General Motors Co., is laying off almost 8% of full-time employees to cut costs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which gets about $1 billion a year in funding from GM, went on a hiring spree in 2019 to bring in software-development talent and launch an autonomous ride-hailing service. But Cruise backed off plans to deploy robotaxis by the end of last year and had not set a new target date before the public-health crisis set in and forced companies in the space to slow their testing efforts on public roads.