GM-owned autonomous driving company Cruise will have test vehicles operating in every part of San Francisco by the end of this year.
In its Q1 2022 earnings report, GM said that Cruise test vehicles are currently operating in 70 percent of San Francisco. It plans to eventually have test vehicles operating in every part of the city, however, claiming in its earnings report that these test vehicles will be capable of travelling on 100 percent of San Francisco roads by the end of 2022.
The automaker’s Chevy Bolt EV-based test vehicles are equipped with cameras, radar and lidar and run on a Cruise-developed autonomous driving software. The geofenced test vehicles operate in predetermined areas of San Francisco, mapping the city’s streets and teaching its artificial intelligence software how to properly navigate busy roads with other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
Cruise is currently allowing San Francisco residents to sign up to receive complimentary, driverless rides in its Chevy Bolt EV test cars. The automaker described this as a “major milestone,” in Cruise’s end goal of deploying its fully driverless Origin robotaxis on public roads in the United States – a business that it hopes will generate $50 billion in revenue annually by the end of the decade.
The Cruise Origin robotaxi, which debuted back in 2020, will enter production at the GM Factory Zero plant later this year. The Origin will enable Cruise to operate a ride-hailing service akin to Uber or Lyft, however Cruise believes its ride-hailing service will be more profitable than either of those services as it does not have to pay a human driver to operate the vehicle.
GM also acquired SoftBank’s stake in Cruise for $2.1 billion and invested an additional $1.35 billion in the AV subsidiary in Q1, raising its stake in the company from ~60 percent to ~80 percent. Other Cruise investors include Honda, Walmart and the Saudi Vision Fund.