Autonomous vehicle company cruises into Sunnyvale in major expansion

 A General Motors-backed autonomous vehicle company is setting up shop in Sunnyvale as part of a major Bay Area expansion that will bring hundreds of tech jobs to the South Bay.

Cruise, an independent subsidiary of automaker General Motors, is opening a new office in Sunnyvale at 840 W. California Ave. in Sunnyvale.

The company said it expects to employ 400 people at the new Sunnyvale office.

General Motors, Honda Motor, a Softbank fund, Walmart and Microsoft all own stakes in Cruise through various investments.

Cruise is awaiting final regulatory approval from the state Public Utilities Commission for a permit to begin commercial operations for a fleet of robotaxis in San Francisco.

San Francisco-based Cruise said it needed to open a Sunnyvale office to tap the vast number of skilled workers in Silicon Valley and to help reduce the brutal commutes for its employees to the company’s head offices in San Francisco.

“We are reinforcing our commitment to the Bay Area, and investing in Sunnyvale to alleviate commuting pressures to San Francisco for current employees, and make Cruise more accessible to the diverse talent pool that resides in the South Bay,” Cruise said in comments emailed to this news organization.

At present, Cruise employs more than 2,000 workers and intends to ramp up its workforce by 20% during 2022.

“This office will house 400 employees and be custom-built for several critical Cruise teams, mainly housing divisions of our engineering departments,” Cruise said.

Cruise is using a hybrid approach for its return to the office in the wake of the economic dislocations unleashed by the coronavirus.

“We want to be thoughtful about weighing commute times with meaningful connection,” Cruise said.

Sunnyvale officials embraced Cruise’s arrival.

“We are excited to welcome Cruise to Sunnyvale and look forward to their future growth and success,” Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein said. “Cruise will be a wonderful addition to our business community.”

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