Pointers at Glance
- It was announced on Monday that Cruise, which is a San Francisco startup, is expanding its robotaxi trials to Arizona & Texas.
- It marks the first expansion of Cruise’s service.
On Monday, a self-driving car company, General Motors, announced its plans to expand a robotaxi service recently launched in California into new markets in Arizona and Texas before the end of 2022.
California-based independent driving firm Cruise has announced that it is expanding pilots of its robotaxis to Arizona and Texas. Cruise is a San Francisco startup that General Motors own. It launched driverless rides in San Francisco back in February. The announcement this week signs the first expansion of Cruise’s service.
As it already has been doing in parts of San Francisco during nighttime, Cruise’s ride-hailing service will transport passengers in vehicles without a safety driver to take control in case the robotic technology malfunctions. Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt did not provide additional details about the ride-hailing services in Phoenix and Austin.
When its ride-hailing service enters Phoenix, Cruise will compete with another robotaxi service run by Waymo, a Google spin-off, that already has been charging passengers there. Waymo is also testing a robotaxi service in San Francisco that has not yet been cleared to charge passengers.
Although Vogt told investors that the driverless ride-hailing service in San Francisco is winning over many loyal customers, Cruise faced problems the day after receiving its permit from California regulators to begin collecting fares.
In a regulatory disclosure made in early September, Cruise disclosed that it recalled 80 of its driverless vehicles for a software update after one of the cars was involved in an accident that resulted in minor injuries.
Cruise said to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that one of its vehicles was making an unprotected left turn at an intersection when it was hit by an oncoming vehicle. According to the regulatory filing, the Cruise vehicle had to be towed away from the scene.
Rides are set to be accessible at launch, but Cruise plans to start charging for the service soon after launch.