In early 2020, the Cruise AV fleet of self-driving prototypes began delivering food bank meals to less fortunate individuals in the San Francisco area to help them out amid the pandemic. By July, Cruise had completed 50,000 contactless grocery and meal deliveries to San Francisco’s most vulnerable and underserved populations – helping out the community whilst also racking up important miles on its prototypes.
Speaking during the GM’s 2021 CES keynote speech, Cruise founder and chief technology officer Kyle Vogt revealed the company has now completed more than 140,000 contactless deliveries in San Francisco using its autonomous Chevy Bolt EV-based prototypes.
“We took a look at ourselves and our company and thought about what we could do, and we decided to repurpose our fleet to deliver food for communities need in San Francisco, and so we found two local organizations, the SF Marin Food Bank and SF New Deal, and repurposed our fleet to do deliveries,” Vogt said during the presentation. “To date, we’ve done over 140,000 meal deliveries and that’s awesome. It makes us feel really good at Cruise, and even though that’s a lot of meals, we know it’s just the tip of the iceberg for the potential positive impact autonomous vehicles can have on our communities.”
The food delivery effort first began on April 16th, 2020, shortly after Cruise partnered up with the SF Marin Food Bank and SF New Deal. Roughly 80 percent of the meals and groceries have been delivered to individuals beneath the poverty line. All of these deliveries were also contactless, ensuring Cruise’s efforts remain in-line with CDC guidelines with regard to social distancing.
“A rise in food insecurity was one of the first indicators of the breadth and depth of the crisis,” Cruise said last year after it first began the food delivery efforts. “Serving our communities is core to our mission. We’re humbled to continue to help these incredible organizations and food programs to support the community at this time.”
Cruise recently began testing its Chevy Bolt EV prototypes on public streets in San Francisco without an operator in the driver’s seat. This is considered a major step forward with regard to Cruise’s end goal of putting the Cruise Origin into production at the Factory Zero plant in Michigan and running a ride-hailing and ride-sharing service with the autonomous vehicle.