A former Amazon robotics and AI executive has joined autonomous vehicle company Cruise's engineering leadership team.
Siddhartha "Sidd" Srinivasa will serve as a Distinguished Engineer at the GM subsidiary, which offers both ride-hailing and delivery services. Before joining Cruise, Srinivasa founded and led Amazon's Robotics AI organization that deploys robotics and artificial intelligence in fulfillment worldwide, said Cruise Executive VP of Engineering Mohamad Elshenawy in a LinkedIn post last week.
"Sidd’s deep experience in the field of Robotics and AI will be critical to Cruise as we scale our business," Elshenawy said, adding that Srinivasa has authored several award-winning papers in motion planning, control and machine learning.
In a corresponding LinkedIn post, Srinivasa expressed his excitement to join "a vibrant, capable, and bold company.”
"After a wonderful 4 years at Amazon building and scaling Robotics AI for Fulfillment, I’m excited to start a new journey that’s very close to my heart: inventing algorithms, and partnering with Operations to exponentially scale autonomous mobility," Srinivasa said.
Srinivasa began his tenure with Cruise in November, according to his LinkedIn profile. He joins a sizable engineering team at Cruise — Elshenawy oversees roughly 2,000 engineers responsible for all aspects of the company's autonomous vehicles, including robotics and AI.
Hiring the former Amazon executive bolster Cruise's leadership ranks as it prepares to start production of its Origin vehicle this year. According to Cruise's website, Origin's delivery capabilities include ferrying up to five orders per trip and has locked storage units and customer authentication measures to ensure orders are safe in transit.
Cruise has strong ties with Walmart, a top Amazon rival. The companies revealed in 2020 that they would pilot contactless deliveries in Arizona, using Cruise's cars to deliver customer orders from local Walmart locations. The next year, Walmart announced it had invested an undisclosed sum in Cruise, highlighting the company's all-electric fleet as a key reason for the move.
"The investment will aid our work toward developing a last mile delivery ecosystem that’s fast, low-cost and scalable," said John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., in the announcement.
Editor's note: This story was first published in our Logistics Weekly newsletter. Sign up here.