Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, has won approval to participate in California's first pilot program to provide driverless transportation services. An important first step for a burgeoning industry.
Cruise has become the first company that will be able to offer rides to individuals in its self-driving vehicles without the need for a security operator. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has given it a permit under its Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service Pilot Program.
This backup mode will be replaced by a remote safety operator and an emergency stop button. Initially, the rides will be free during the test phase before commercial roll-out of the service, the date of which has not yet been announced.
Production of shuttles by 2023
The only thing missing is the approval of another authority: the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It should only be a matter of time, since the DMV has already given its approval to test the vehicles. It must now get this authorization in order to implement a commercial service and be able to bill customers.
Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, is preparing for the deployment of its fleet, including its new autonomous vehicle "Cruise Origin," which has been stripped of nearly all the elements normally needed for operating a vehicle. Cruise plans to begin manufacturing its new shuttles in early 2023. For now, the fleet includes hundreds of Chevrolet Bolt EVs. Cruise has already had investments from companies including Microsoft, Honda and Walmart.