Cruise Origin, GM’s autonomous, all-electric, ride-sharing “robotaxi”, is currently on track to begin production in the coming months. This development comes from a Tweet shared by Cruise, GM’s autonomous vehicle division.
In a tweet this past Sunday, Cruise stated that the Cruise Origin AV’s arrival for commercial use in imminent. It also said that San Francisco residents may spot a human-operated Origin.
Our purpose-built AV, the Origin, is on track for production! While we eagerly await its arrival for commercial use in the coming months, you may see a human-operated Origin prototype driving on the streets of SF. 👀
— cruise (@Cruise) October 16, 2022
This wouldn’t be the first time a Cruise Origin driven by a human has been spotted, as GM Authority photographers captured a human-driven Cruise Origin back in July. That prototype was equipped with a single, centrally placed driver’s seat and steering wheel, with a human pilot clearly at the helm. It’s possible this particular prototype was testing the onboard steering, braking, and propulsion systems, and was not equipped with the GM-Cruise fully autonomous technology.
Excluding these two aforementioned developments, all Cruise AVs on San Fransisco streets have just been repurposed Chevy Bolt EVs in order to develop the technology needed to make the Cruise Origin AV work properly and speed up developmental timelines. In fact, Cruise has already logged 250,000 driverless miles.
Right now, Cruise’s focus for Q3 and Q4 of 2022 is to work with local regulators in San Fransisco and California to increase the hours of operation of its autonomous prototypes in the city. The company’s driverless test vehicles are currently geofenced to the northwest part of San Francisco and are only allowed to operate between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when there is reduced public traffic.
As a reminder, GM first revealed the Cruise Origin self-driving robotaxi in January 2020. Since then, GM Cruise has been granted permission to begin charging customers for rides in its test vehicle fleet.
A purpose-built autonomous vehicle, the Cruise Origin will be based on the GM BEV3 platform. It will be propelled by Ultium Battery technology and Ultium Drive motors. Production is expected to begin later this year at the Factory Zero plant.