General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently took a ride aboard a fully autonomous Chevy Bolt EV, getting a brief tour of San Francisco while witnessing firsthand the power of the latest Cruise driverless technology. The experience was captured in the following three-minute video.
For those readers who may be unaware, Cruise is GM’s autonomous vehicle division, which is currently developing the technology needed for fully driverless vehicles. In fact, the tech division is already operating fully autonomous vehicles on the streets of San Francisco.
As we see in the video, GM CEO Mary Barra went to San Francisco to experience the technology for herself. The video also includes Cruise founder and CTO Kyle Vogt, who rides in the rear seat with Barra, while GM President Mark Reuss also takes another ride in a fully autonomous Chevy Bolt EV alongside GM Senior Vice President, Global Comms, Craig Buchholz.
After calling the autonomous Bolt using a smartphone app, the driverless EV pulls up to the curb where Mary Barra and Kyle Vogt are waiting to board. As the trip gets underway, the passengers are astounded, applauding as the Cruise-equipped vehicle deftly navigates the city streets.
“I always believed that we’d be doing it,” Barra says during her ride. “But to actually be doing it, it’s just surreal.”
“A lot of people have asked me, ‘well, how are you going get people to use it,'” she adds. “It’s like, ok we were in the vehicle for five minutes and the trust is there.”
The drive feels like a historic moment for the occupants, setting the tone for a new age in mobility technology.
As Cruise continues to refine its autonomous technology, it is now seeking a permit that will allow it to charge passengers for a ride in the vehicles. Back in January of 2020, General Motors unveiled Cruise Origin, the company’s first production-ready fully autonomous ride-sharing vehicle, which is equipped with an all-electric powertrain.