Cruise is backed by General Motors
Cruise has been testing self-driving taxis in San-Fransisco for a few years now
The company expects taxi costs to drop from an average of $5/mile to $1,50/mile by removing the driver
Currently, the company is limited to operate under supervision in certain cities in California, such as San Francisco, but it has now received five of the six permits it will need to commercialise an autonomous ride-hailing service in the rest of the state.
For the moment, Cruise is testing its system on modified Chevrolet Bolt vehicles, but by 2023, General Motors should start producing the Cruise Origin, a specially designed autonomous vehicle that will not be equipped with manual controls to allow for human intervention.
The company estimates that removing taxi drivers could lower the average price of ride-hailing from $5 per mile currently in California to $1.50 per mile.
Competitors include Google’s Waymo, but this company still need to have drivers ready to take control in the event of an accident, as well as Tesla, which had promised to have 1 million robotaxis on the roads as of now, but it currently has none in operation.
Cruise is also behind its original schedule, but it currently looks to be the closest to actually release the product it set out to make.
Apart from expanding in California, the company expects to enter other US markets and it has recently signed a deal with Dubai to be its exclusive autonomous taxi provider.