Cruise Hits 1 Million Miles of Driverless Robotaxi Rides
Autonomous vehicle developer Cruise has announced that it has completed 1 million fully driverless miles, a significant milestone for the GM subsidiary. The majority of these miles were collected in San Francisco, where Cruise began testing fully driverless rides in November 2021. Cruise was also the first company to receive a driverless deployment permit from the California Public Utilities Commission, enabling it to charge passengers for robotaxi rides by June of last year.
Each of the million miles driven by Cruise’s autonomous vehicles were without a safety driver behind the wheel, and according to Mo Elshenawy, Cruise’s SVP of engineering, “has been packed with complex scenarios that have set Cruise up for rapid scale.” Cruise has been gathering data from each drive to feed into a continuous learning machine that creates millions of permutations of real-world scenarios on the road, enabling its technology to learn from simulated drives and apply this knowledge in real-life situations.
Despite this achievement, San Francisco officials recently sent a letter to California regulators requesting a slowdown in Cruise’s expansion plans, citing concerns over the hazards and network impacts caused by planned and unplanned autonomous vehicle stops that obstruct traffic. The officials reportedly want a better understanding of autonomous vehicles before Cruise and other companies can expand, as stalled autonomous vehicles have caused traffic jams in San Francisco several times in the past.