Robotaxi service coming to California
Autonomous driving company Cruise is planning to launch a self-driving electric vehicle (EV) taxi service in San Francisco shortly.
Backed by General Motors, the company has been testing autonomous versions of vehicles such as the Chevrolet Bolt EV in the city - without a safety driver behind the wheel - since December 2020.
Cruise unveiled the Origin in early 2021, a purpose-built electric van developed by GM and Honda that will be the core model in its Robotaxi fleet.
Considered a six-passenger shuttle based on the GM BEV3 vehicle platform, its design allows for easy swapping and upgrades of sensors including laser lidar, radar and cameras and easy-to-replace body panels. Vehicle doors are large to allow replacement and upgrades of interior flooring, ceilings and seating and the use of high-durability plastics will allow for easy cleaning.
According to GM Authority, commercial production of the Origin is expected in 2022. An official launch date for commercial ride service, however, has not been announced.
Although Cruise is currently giving rides to passengers, news service Forbes reported that California state legislation has yet to allow the company to charge for the rides.
In related news, the company is also planning to expand into Dubai.
Photo (copyright: GM Authority)