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Kyle Vogt, who co-founded autonomous driving company Cruise in 2013, has been named CEO. He has served as as interim CEO since December 2021 when Dan Ammann, who had been CEO since 2018, abruptly left Cruise.
Vogt, 36, also will serve as chief technology officer and president of Cruise, which GM bought in 2016 for $1 billion. Vogt made the announcement on Twitter by tweeting he “some fun news” to share.
“I have no doubt it will be a difficult challenge given our very ambitious plans, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything more important or more fun,” he said. “I’m never going to have trouble getting out of bed.”
“How do I know I can run a company like Cruise?,” he continued. “To start, I’ve made and learned from pretty much all of the common mistakes in my 15 years as a startup leader already, so this isn’t my first time around the block.”
Some fun news: I have formally accepted the CEO job at @Cruise once again.
— Kyle Vogt (@kvogt) February 28, 2022
Cruise is one of the world’s leading companies developing autonomous driving technology. Earlier in February 2022, Cruise opened up its driverless robotaxis in San Francisco to the public. There is a sign-up form on Cruise’s website for members of the public who want to take a ride. The service, which doesn’t have human safety drivers in the vehicles, is open up to a small number of users and will ramp up over time.
Cruise is allowed to operate five robotaxis around certain parts of San Francisco. Cruise vehicles are approved to operate between 10 PM and 6 AM at a maximum speed of 30 MPH. The California Department of Motor Vehicles is allowing Cruise to drive its robotaxis in light rain and fog. Cruise has been able to test autonomous vehicles on California’s public roads with a safety driver since 2015 and to test autonomous vehicles without a driver since October 2020.
Cruise also published the video below, which it said shows the first group of public riders. Like all other companies working on autonomous vehicles, it took Cruise longer than expected to roll out this service. But it’s a major milestone for the industry, regardless. You can see additional videos of customers taking rides on social media.
Before founding Cruise, Vogt was a co-founder at Twitch, an interactive livestreaming service, which Amazon acquired for $1.1 billion. Vogt keynoted our 2019 Robotics Summit and Expo.