GM’s self-driving company Cruise offers robotaxi rides in California with no human driver present. After years of working on its self-driving fleet vehicles, Cruise received regulatory approval back in June. Now, the CEO confirmed its service is quickly expanding to Austin and Phoenix.
Kyle Vogt, CEO of GM’s Cruise, announced that within the next 90 days, its autonomous taxi vehicles would start operating in Austin, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona. Additionally, the CEO explained that the approval process in these cities only took three weeks, compared to nearly two years in San Francisco.
Some fun news – @Cruise is bringing driverless rides to Austin and Phoenix later this year. pic.twitter.com/ZCSuVz3DwM
— Kyle Vogt (@kvogt) September 12, 2022
Once the fleet of vehicles is up and operational in both cities, regular folks will be able to hail a taxi as they would an Uber, and a self-driving Cruise robotaxi will show up and safely take them to their destination.
It’s worth noting that Cruise dealt with several issues and speedbumps at the beginning, and the test run was off to a terrible start. At one point, over a dozen vehicles stopped for no reason, blocking traffic for hours on end. Last month, Cruise issued a recall and updated its software after an accident caused two injuries. However, it looks like things are now on the right track, and the company is ready to expand rapidly.
Vogt went on to explain that the company went from having zero operations in Austin to being able to offer driverless rides in under 90 days. Furthermore, he believes the company will be able to ramp up operations and continue the fast rollout to other cities soon.
So, within the next few months, regular customers will be able to take a driverless taxi ride with a Cruise vehicle in San Francisco, Austin, and Phoenix. Then, looking further down the road, Cruise wants to start manufacturing its own silicon chips to power the vehicles, then release its first vehicle for public buyers by 2025.
Imagine being able to buy a Cruise robotaxi. Then the vehicle can taxi customers around and earn a profit while you’re at a regular job, sitting at home, or sleeping. That’s what the future holds.
For those unaware, these self-driving autonomous vehicles can only drive on “select streets” in San Francisco from 10 PM to 6 AM, at speeds no more than 30mph, and under ideal weather conditions with no fog or rain. We’re not sure what limitations or road restrictions it’ll have in Austin or Phoenix, but we’ll know more soon enough.