The Washington State Department of Commerce confirmed that Cruise, an autonomous vehicle (AV) company, plans to open an office in Bellevue, adding to a growing list of nearly two dozen AV technology firms in Washington state.
A $200,000 grant from the governor’s economic development strategic reserve fund helped support the recruitment, which is expected to add up to 200 engineering jobs.
“Washington offers an unmatched trove of engineering talent, AI and machine learning, cloud computing, and other key R&D assets that innovative enterprises like Cruise need to keep pushing the boundaries in their industries. We welcome Cruise and look forward to working with their team in Bellevue.” said Gov. Jay Inslee, who signed a 2017 Executive Order on safe testing and operation of AVs.
Dan Kan is chief operating officer and cofounder of Cruise, which is based in San Francisco and uses a fleet of all-electric vehicles for testing.
“Cruise is proud and grateful to receive support from the governor’s strategic reserve fund,” Kan said. “These funds will help Cruise create quality jobs for the enormous talent that the Bellevue area has to offer, continue to grow our roots in the region and the state of Washington, as well as strengthen our partnership with Greater Seattle Partners.”
According to Commerce Director Lisa Brown, “Cruise is an exciting addition to the growing autonomous vehicle cluster that we are actively working to develop here in Washington. Attracting future growth and opportunity strengthens communities all over the state.”
Currently, Cruise is not planning to test in the Seattle area. Instead, Cruise’s Washington facility will be a multimillion dollar capital investment that creates up to 200 new high-paying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs.
“Greater Seattle Partners is pleased to join with the State of Washington in supporting Cruise’s expansion to our region.” said Brian P. McGowan, President and CEO of Greater Seattle Partners. “The race to the start line for autonomous vehicle development and deployment is an exciting and complex challenge. Greater Seattle’s world-class talent pool and innovative climate is the perfect place to incubate these next generation technologies. We’re pleased to support Cruise’s new Bellevue office.”
“The Innovation Triangle is an ideal place for Cruise, and we enthusiastically welcome them to Bellevue,” said Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak. “The new Cruise office will find an ecosystem that is bursting with creative talent thanks to the many other innovative local companies. Another one of the Innovation Triangle’s strengths is the breadth of new technologies being developed here in King County’s greater eastside.”
The state grant funds will be used to offset design, engineering and construction costs of the new facility.