GM's vision of autonomous driving and ride-sharing has arrived.
America's biggest automaker is moving full speed ahead with the next phase of automotive technology. Introducing the fully autonomous Cruise Origin, a product of GM's autonomous vehicle subsidiary, Cruise Automation. The Chevy Bolt test dummies (sans steering wheels) converted into autonomous testing vehicles were the company's first stage of autonomous vehicle testing and development, and the Cruise Origin represents a significant leap forward: a driverless, emissions-free vision of the future. No, it's just not a fancy-looking box on wheels.
Specific details, including styling information, were not provided, but, for the most part, the Origin looks about the same at the front and rear. The biggest difference? Red lights at one end and white lights at the other. There are a pair of sliding doors that operate automatically, just like on a subway train. Also notice various navigation sensor devices located throughout, specifically up top at each corner.
No details were provided regarding the interior, but the included images are pretty self-explanatory. There are enough seat belts for up to six passengers (like always, someone will have to squeeze into the middle seat position), and occupants will face each other with plenty of legroom in between. There's also cargo space behind the seats. Going by the photos, interior materials seem to mainly consist of plastics and vinyl, assumedly because they're easy to clean and are highly durable.
Built on a GM platform, power comes from an electric motor while the battery pack is located beneath the passenger compartment. No word on battery capacity or range, but the company says each vehicle is capable of driving for up to one million miles.
Like any ride-hailing service, the Cruise Origin will be summoned by a mobile app. As part of the ride-sharing service, customers will be promised a clean vehicle without any technical issues at all hours of the day. The first city where the Cruise will go online will be San Francisco, California, where the debut event was also held. However, no word yet as to when service will get underway nor how much the rides will cost. Cruise does state that a user could save as much as $5,000 a year compared to regular vehicle ownership or even using another ride-sharing service.