DoorDash customers in the San Francisco, California, area may have their next meal delivered by a GM Cruise self-driving car. GM’s self-driving car subsidiary announced a partnership with DoorDash that begins early this year.
The program announcement came just days after former GM President Dan Ammann took over as CEO of Cruise Automation. Since then, Mark Reuss has been appointed to the position, though he still holds his additional roles as well.
Merchants will load a self-driving car with a customer’s food and the car will drive itself to the delivery destination. GM Cruise hasn’t announced changes to its self-driving operations, which means there will be a safety driver behind the wheel of the autonomous vehicle should anything go wrong. Customers will receive a notification when the self-driving car approaches the address given.
The partnership comes as GM will need to make good on its promise to commercialize self-driving cars. The automaker previously said 2019 would be the year it commercializes the technology in some way, but so far, GM hasn’t shared any plans. A scathing 2018 report declared nothing was on schedule inside Cruise Automation and the unit never began testing self-driving cars in New York City as it promised.
Meanwhile, rival Waymo has begun a paid ride-share service for screened riders in Arizona. It became the first company to commercialize self-driving cars in some way last year.
With the new partnership, GM Cruise follows a handful of other companies and automakers to deploy their self-driving cars for delivery duty. Ford has been delivering pizzas with autonomous vehicles since last year, and Kroger began grocery delivery via self-driving cars last fall, too.
We’ll watch GM Cruise closely this year for any major doings, especially with Ammann at the helm now.