GM’s Cruise Has About 300 AVs On The Road2
GM’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise recently set several new milestones for service area coverage and total autonomous miles traveled. The General reported Cruise’s fresh successes as part of its fourth-quarter (Q4) 2022 earnings presentation.
Approximately 300 autonomous vehicles, or AVs, operated by Cruise are currently driving on city streets at several locations in the U.S., per GM’s data.
GM initially launched Cruise in San Francisco as “the first and only paid driverless ridehail service in a major city” at the time. Cruise AVs started giving free rides to the public in January 2022, switching over to charging fares in June.
On September 12th, Cruise pledged to launch its driverless ridehail service in Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona before the end of 2022. In the event, the first passengers took driverless Cruise rides in Austin and Phoenix by late December 2022. GM pointed out in its Q4 presentation that it took less than 90 days from the initial announcement to bring Cruise AVs to the new locations. Cruise plans to bring its AVs to more cities in 2023.
Meanwhile, Cruise’s autonomous vehicles are also closing in on the landmark figure of covering one million driverless miles. General Motors AVs achieved 500,000 miles of autonomous driving by November 27th, 2022, meaning Cruise has nearly doubled its driverless miles in slightly more than two months.
Earlier, Cruise’s AVs passed the 250,000 mile mark on August 1st, 2022, just under four months before hitting half a million miles. The rapid increase in driverless miles covered shows the quick expansion both of available AVs and their activity.
The Cruise rollout hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an investigation into the AV service’s safety in December 2022. The NHTSA cited reports of Cruise robotaxis becoming road hazards by constantly braking or even stopping in traffic.
The NHTSA started an evaluation as the first step toward issuing a recall. Cruise’s official rebuttal including pointing out its AVs are operating “in an extremely complex urban environment with zero life-threatening injuries or fatalities” despite hundreds of thousands of miles driven. Following this exchange, half a dozen Cruise AVs stopped traffic for 20 minutes at a San Francisco intersection in late January 2023.
Simultaneous with these developments, Cruise is seeking regulatory approval to test its Cruise Origin robotaxi in San Francisco. The Chevy Bolt EV, retrofitted with autonomous driving technology, is GM’s current choice for the AVs comprising Cruise’s fleet. The Origin, by contrast, was designed from the ground up as a fully autonomous EV with no steering wheel or manual controls.
GM’s autonomous Cruise service operated at a financial loss of about $1.9 billion during calendar year 2022, though this is typical for a new experimental service generating expenses through expansion to new markets. Looking to the future, the automaker says it is targeting $50 billion in annual revenue from Cruise by 2030.
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By 2025, a typical Cruise AV should be able to collect about $200,000 of fares in a year. So, to stop Cruise’s $2 billion loss per year, Cruise will need to have at least 10,000 AVs. In a Cruise video from 15 months ago, the rough estimate was that Cruise should have over 50,000 AVs sometime in 2025.
Why is Cruise only targeting $50 billion in annual revenue by 2030? The target should be about $500 billion since the addressable market should be very approximately $5 trillion. Refer Uber IPO and Ark Invest Big Ideas 2023 report.