GM-Backed Cruise Begins Testing Driverless Vehicles in San Francisco
After 5 years and 2 million miles in San Francisco, GM-backed Cruise begins testing fully driverless vehicles without a monitor behind the wheel
Cruise, a majority-owned subsidiary of General Motors (GM), has started testing self-driving vehicles without driver monitors in San Francisco, the company said Wednesday. According to Cruise CEO Dan Ammann, the company plans to test a handful of vehicles before rolling out a “real commercial product” in the years ahead. Cruise, unlike other self driving startups, has concentrated on testing its technology in San Francisco, a densely populated urban area with lots of "street variables" at play (i.e. pedestrians, bicyclists, uneven roads, construction, etc).
Our take is that ubiquitous self-driving robotaxis are still some years, if not a decade or more away, but this is undoubtedly a milestone for Cruise. It’ll be interesting to track how Cruise’s technology develops in 2021 and beyond, especially as it relates to urban self-driving capabilities. We are of the opinion that self-driving is likely to first be seen in the long-haul trucking industry and that densely populated cities would be the last to convert. It's somewhat counterintuitive for Cruise to concentrate on a densely populated city, but it is undoubtedly pushing its self driving system and collecting good data.
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The TLC Market Newsletter is written by Dawood Mian, Founder & CEO of TLC Market. He covers the NYC ridesharing industry and related news. Search TLC Market for cars, parts, tires, mechanics, reviews & more. Find great deals at TLCMKT.COM.