Cruise, General Motors’ autonomous vehicle technology division, is poised to ramp up its delivery pilot program with Walmart in Arizona.
Per a recent report from Tech Crunch, Cruise’s senior government affairs manager, Carter Stern, announced the expansion in a recent public meeting with Arizona legislators earlier in February.
Cruise currently operates a small fleet of autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs as part of a pilot delivery program with retail corporation Walmart. For now, the pilot program includes just a single Walmart location near Scottsdale. However, the recently announced expansion will grow the program to eight stores by the end of the year.
“We’ll really continue to see that grow in Arizona first and then it’ll be exported to the rest of the country,” Stern said.
Each of the Arizona delivery vehicles includes a human pilot. Cruise currently employs more than 100 workers in Arizona, but is expected to expand in the near future.
For now, the majority of Cruise’s real-world testing takes place in San Francisco, with plans to launch a fully autonomous taxi service in the California city. That said, the Arizona pilot delivery program is currently Cruise’s only source of revenue. Although Cruise is offering ride-hailing services to the public in San Francisco, it currently cannot charge for those services. That said, Cruise is shooting to begin charging for rides, pending a permit from the California Public Utilities Commission.
Cruise is also currently providing free delivery services in California in collaboration with the San Francisco Marin Food Bank & the SF New Deal, completing as many as 113,000 deliveries thus far.
As GM Authority covered previously, General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, recently took a ride in a fully autonomous Chevy Bolt EV in San Francisco. In a video released earlier this year, the CEO can be seen in the back seat of the Bolt alongside Cruise founder and CTO Kyle Vogt, with the two checking out the San Francisco streets as the onboard tech handles the task of driving without a human pilot.