GM's Driverless Cruise Taxi First To Go Commercial

By Staff Writer June 13, 2022 195
Cruise uses Chevrolet Bolt EVs equipped with its autonomous driving technology to move passengers around S.F. Cruise uses Chevrolet Bolt EVs equipped with its autonomous driving technology to move passengers around S.F.

The future of commercial ride-share and taxi companies arrived quietly on June 2nd, and it's driverless. 

The San Francisco based autonomous vehicle company Cruise snagged the first ever Driverless Deployment Permit. The permit, granted by the California Public Utilities Commission, allows Cruise to charge a fare for the driverless rides they have been providing for free since February to the public in an experiment run jointly by Cruise and the city of S.F.  “Crossing the threshold into commercial operations isn’t just big news for Cruise alone.” said Cruise COO Gil West in a blog statement. “ It is a major milestone for the shared mission of the AV industry to improve life in our cities. And it’s a giant leap for our mission here at Cruise to save lives, help save the planet, and save people time and money.”

One of Cruise’s driverless Chevy Bolts even had a brief stint of Internet fame in the Spring when they briefly tried to flee a traffic stop by S.F police and were caught on a video that went viral on social media. 

 

GMs Origin can handle highway speeds but will maintain a mandated top speed of 30 mph ferrying people around the city. 

 

Behind Cruise, is the auto giant General Motors, with an 80% stake in the company.  GM and Cruise will be the first companies in the world to run a commercial taxi service of self-driving cars in a major city. Cruise will use a fleet of 30 completely driverless all-electric Chevrolet Bolts to move passengers around the northeast area of S.F.  Operations are expected to ramp up over the next eight years across the U.S and internationally ( Dubai is the next city Cruise will enter commercially). At GM’s investor day in 2021, then-Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said the target for the ride-hailing business was that it will reach $50 billion.  

  GMs CEO took to Twitter after the landmark Permit was approved. 

The joint venture will eventually replace the Bolt with an autonomous vehicle called the Origin, built specially for ride-share. GM developed the Origin as part of its partnership with Honda, it is a boxy car with no steering wheel or gas pedal that is designed to carry multiple passengers. In April, the automaker said it will spend $2 billion this year on Cruise operations. 

The Origin will be built at GM’s flagship EV plant, Factory Zero in Hamtramck MI. starting in early 2023. GM makes the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup at Factory Zero and will soon start building the Hummer SUV and the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado pickup there next year.  

EV Wars Update: Autonomous Vehicles Segment: GM 1; Tesla 0. 

 

 

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Last modified on Monday, 13 June 2022 17:29