The autonomous car company’s precipitous downfall offers lessons for other carmakers.

1 minute read

December 22, 2023, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

In an article in Fast Company, Jessica Bursztynsky outlines the brief history of Cruise, the autonomous car maker that seemed poised to be at the forefront of the self-driving revolution. “But building successful AVs proved to be pricier and more time consuming than initially expected, so many of Cruise’s peers ended their self-driving goals in the coming years. Cruise, and Google’s Waymo, were among the last and best players standing.”

After allowing the company to begin offering autonomous taxi rides in San Francisco earlier this year over protests from local officials, California regulators pulled Cruise’s operating license after multiple crashes and incidents involving its vehicles, including a San Francisco collision in which a Cruise vehicle dragged a woman before stopping. Then, facing more scrutiny, the company abruptly ended its operations across the country. 

Now, Cruise has laid off almost a quarter of its workforce and “could also face $1.5 million in fines and additional sanctions” from the California Transportation Commission for “misleading the commission through omission regarding the extent and seriousness of the accident” and making misleading public comments.

Monday, December 18, 2023 in Fast Company

Aerial view of homes on green hillsides in Daly City, California.

Depopulation Patterns Get Weird

A recent ranking of “declining” cities heavily features some of the most expensive cities in the country — including New York City and a half-dozen in the San Francisco Bay Area.

April 10, 2024 - California Planning & Development Report

Close-up of maroon California 'Clean Air Vehicle' carpool lane access sticker on the back bumper of a silver Tesla vehicle.

California EV Owners To Lose Carpool Lane Privilege

A program that began in 1999 to encourage more electric car ownership is set to expire next year without Congressional and state action.

April 2, 2024 - San Francisco Chronicle

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Google street view of grassy lot next to brick church with elevated freeway on other side in Houston, Texas.

Houston Supportive Housing Development Sparks Debate

Critics say a proposed apartment building would negatively impact the neighborhood’s walkability.

April 12 - Houston Chronicle

Closed black wrought iron gate in front of gated residential community with large palm trees along sides of street.

Friday Funny: Gated Community Doubles Down

The Onion skewers suburbia.

April 12 - The Onion

Aerial view of Chicago with river in foreground.

‘Cut the Tape’ Report Takes Aim at Inefficiencies

A set of recommendations from the Chicago mayor’s office calls for streamlining city processes to stimulate more residential and commercial development.

April 12 - Block Club Chicago

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.