Famed Jeep Hackers Charlie Miller, Chris Valasek Join GM’s Cruise Automation

The two cybersecurity experts leave Uber and Didi Chuxing behind for General Motors’s self-driving car division.

byStephen Edelstein|
Famed Jeep Hackers Charlie Miller, Chris Valasek Join GM’s Cruise Automation

Two cybersecurity experts famous for hacking a Jeep are joining General Motors's Cruise Automation self-driving car subsidiary.

Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek had separated briefly, but will be reunited at Cruise, according to Recode. Following their much-publicized hack of a Jeep Cherokee, the pair joined Uber. 

But Miller subsequently left to join rival Didi Chuxing's new autonomous-driving lab, located in Mountain View, California. On Friday, Miller tweeted that he was leaving Didi, calling his experience there a "short but amazing ride." Valasek soon tweeted at him asking about "getting the band back together." 

Recode subsequently confirmed that Valasek had left Uber, where he was head of security technology for the ride-sharing company's self-driving car program. Finally, Valasek tweeted that he and Miller were joining Cruise as joint heads of the GM subsidiary's security team. 

This likely marks the first time the duo will work in an official capacity at an actual automaker. Miller and Valasek achieved fame in 2015 for hacking a Jeep Cherokee and taking control of various systems within the car. The demonstration raised public fears of car hacking, but did not seem to appreciably affect the public's appetite for connected tech in cars.

Miller and Valsek will join Cruise as the self-driving division undergoes a major expansion. GM announced earlier this year that it will invest $14 million in a new autonomous-driving R&D center for Cruise in San Francisco, and add 1,100 jobs over the next five years. It's also ramping up production of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV test cars, which are currently being tested in California, Arizona, and Michigan.