GM’s autonomous vehicle division, Cruise, just announced that it is now testing its driverless robotaxis in the city of Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville is the latest city to host the Cruise AVs as the company expands its services to major metropolitan areas across the U.S.
In a recent tweet, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt announced that the company is now testing units of its fully autonomous Chevy Bolt EV in Nashville, stating that the latest expansion brings the number of cities where Cruise is now operating from one to seven over the course of just one year. In addition, the company currently has roughly 400 driverless vehicles on the road.
Today we are announcing Nashville 🎸as our next robotaxi-enabled city!
You’ll see driverless @cruise AVs there in a few months.
This brings us from 1 city to 7 in about a year – and there are still more to come…
— Kyle Vogt (@kvogt) July 27, 2023
Just last month, Cruise said it was also starting the initial testing phase for its autonomous vehicles in Miami, Florida, while further efforts are being made in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as several cities in Texas, including Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Cruise initially began public autonomous vehicle testing in San Francisco, California.
Cruise recently celebrated surpassing 3 million driverless miles traveled, with the rate at which the company accumulates similar milestones expected to accelerate as its efforts expand across the U.S.
The company is now waiting on approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to deploy a fleet of Cruise Origin AVs on public roads. Unlike the Cruise Chevy Bolt EVs currently in use, the Cruise Origin was purpose-built as an autonomous vehicle, and is not equipped with human controls. As such, the NHTSA will decide if a vehicle built to be driven exclusively by computers must comply with the same safety standards as human-piloted vehicles with regard to requirements for things like a steering wheel, mirrors, windshield wipers, and similar equipment.
In December of 2022, the NHTSA opened a safety probe into Cruise AVs, finding that some Cruise vehicles could “engage in inappropriately hard braking or become immobilized.” Critics state that autonomous vehicle technology is not ready for public use, with some citing incidents where Cruise AVs have interfered with emergency vehicles.