GM autonomous vehicle and robotaxi subsidiary Cruise announced recently that it is starting “initial testing” of its AVs in Miami, Florida, bringing its Cruise AV to a city on the opposite coast to San Francisco, where testing originally began.
At this time, according to Cruise, the AV deployment is still in “phase 1,” in which information on driving conditions is collected and the autonomous vehicle fleet becomes “familiarized” with the new city.
GM’s Cruise is pursuing expansion of its AVs to new cities aggressively following a lengthy initial testing period in San Francisco. Robotaxi rides were tested in Phoenix, Arizona and Austin, Texas by December 2022, with a short video showing riders enjoying a trip in the self-driving variant of the Chevy Bolt EV.
The Cruise robotaxi service continued its advance with testing in Dallas and Houston starting in May 2023, with potential riders able to join a waitlist to try out the driverless taxi experience. Automated Cruise taxi rides are currently available to riders who are 13 years or older.
Cruise AVs have surpassed the 3 million mile mark of driverless travel. Cruise is achieving new million-mile milestones faster and faster as the GM subsidiary deploys more AVs in both existing and new locations.
While expansion continues with Miami now on the list of Cruise AV testing locations, the process hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing. San Francisco Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson complained that AVs are “not ready for prime time” and noted the AVs are causing emergency vehicle blockages as well as interfering with traffic flow.
Cruise may also soon have a new competitor with German automaker Volkswagen saying it plans to deploy a test group of AVs based on the ID. Buzz electric vehicle in Austin, Texas this summer. Meanwhile, its purpose-built all-electric Cruise Origin AV continues to await NHTSA approval for deployment on city streets.
Despite the hurdles, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt predicts the subsidiary will generate $1 billion in annual revenue by 2025. He stated earlier this year that Cruise is on course for “reaching scale and driving that top-line revenue and path to profitability.”