Public transportation is less utilized than the past, but GM hopes to improve public transport with commercial autonomous vehicles. The majority-owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary of General Motors, Cruise, expects production of its driverless Origin shuttle to begin in early 2023.
The Origin model is the company’s first vehicle designed to specifically operate without a driver on board that won’t feature manual controls such as a steering wheel or pedals. Cruise hints when the commercial operation of the current autonomous vehicle test fleet is expected to start soon, but are currently testing on a fleet of custom Chevrolet Bolt EV models equipped with driverless technology.
The fleet of test models is planned to launch operations and will continue to expand until the Origin model goes into production. It will take some time as the new autonomous vehicle takes shape over the next two years but will start to scale up once Cruise Origin begins production and enters high volume production.
Cruise has applied for the permits needed to start charging for rides and delivery services using autonomous vehicles in San Francisco according to Reuters. Cruise was previously expected to launch a ride-hailing service for the public starting 2019, but plans were delayed further testing that year according to CNBC.
Following the delay, Cruise started beta testing with a fleet of autonomous vehicles used for an employee ride-hailing service in San Francisco for the last several years. The research for this article was sourced by CNBC.