GM autonomous vehicle (AV) and robotaxi subsidiary Cruise has deployed its Cruise AVs to another major city, this time in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains as the white and salmon Chevy Bolt EV-based self-driving vehicles arrive in Atlanta, Georgia.
Atlanta is the eighth city where Cruise is now operating its AV robotaxis, though the Cruise AVs will only be involved in initial testing there for the time being according to the company’s tweet.
Cruise says “we can’t wait to see what each neighborhood has to offer” with regards to Atlanta. The announcement comes less than a week after Cruise began testing its driverless taxis in Nashville, Tennessee. Company CEO Kyle Vogt pointed out at the time Nashville is the seventh metropolis where Cruise has established a presence in the course of a year.
Cruise AV operations began in San Francisco, California before expanding to Phoenix, Arizona and Austin, Texas shortly prior to the end of calendar 2022, matching a schedule set earlier. Robotaxis arrived in two more Texas cities, Houston and Dallas, in spring 2023.
These deployments all took place on the west coast or in the southwest. However, Cruise brought its autonomous vehicles to the eastern seaboard with its expansion to a sixth city, Miami, in late July 2023, leading in to its current continued advance through the warmer cities of the eastern U.S.
Cruise has achieved several important milestones along the way, such as surpassing three million driverless miles traveled by its AVs without significant accidents resulting. The robotaxi service also recently claimed to have 390 AVs operational, which CEO Kyle Vogt claimed is the “largest and fastest-growing AV fleet in the world.”
While Cruise is expanding its robotaxi testing and service area steadily using its current Cruise AV, it continues to await NHTSA approval for its purpose-built Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle. The Cruise Origin is a roomy vehicle with a pair of facing bench seats to carry passengers and sliding side doors for easy access.
Deployment of the Cruise Origin, a cost-effective and efficient AV design, will be key to Cruise’s goal of generating $1 billion in annual revenue by 2025. Without NHTSA approval, however, Cruise has only been able to test a human-operated variant of the Origin in Austin.
Meanwhile, Cruise’s operating cost per mile is improving, approaching the under-$1 per mile mark the subsidiary’s CEO claims is “the magic threshold at which robots actually become cheaper for most people than owning a car.”