Cruise, GM’s autonomous robotaxi service, recently announced that it will expand its coverage in the cities of Phoenix and Austin, while driver-manned Cruise Origin units have starting roaming the streets of San Francisco. In order to capitalize on its autonomous vehicle technology, GM’s Cruise has announced its intention to scale up operations to field thousands of vehicles in a larger number of markets by 2030.
In a report by Reuters, Cruise has immediate plans to expand operations to even more cities in 2023. As it currently stands, human-driven Origins have been testing on the streets of San Francisco as volume production commences in 2023, although the company asked permission from California authorities to use driverless Origin robotaxis. Up until this point, Cruise was using Chevy Bolt EV units for its testing.
To increase the appeal of the Origin, Cruise is also working to develop its delivery services. Prototypes have been spotted with locker outfitted to increase grocery carrying capacities. With the potential to be a large part of the business, Walmart has also been investing in the technology. Right now, there are currently eight stores being used for testing.
The anticipation for expansion comes as GM CEO Mary Barra indicated that General Motors will continue to invest $500 million a quarter into the self-driving technology. If Cruise Origin performs as expected, GM sees the potential for revenue of $50 billion a year by 2030.
With the recent departure of the Ford and Volkswagen jointly developed Argo AI, Cruise will have an easier time expanding with less competition.
This latest Cruise development comes on the heels of another promising event. As GM Authority reported in November, Cruise published its first safety report, which demonstrated zero Cruise-caused major incidents in the first 500,000 miles of driverless operation. In GM’s quest to expand the Cruise business, having a strong track record such as this is a huge advantage.