Self-Driving Taxis Are Coming To Phoenix And Austin

Electric Vehicles / 2 Comments

GM's Cruise, an autonomous vehicle company, hopes to roll out to these cities in the next three months.

Once the reserve of science fiction novels, self-driving vehicles are edging closer and closer to reality. In fact, Mercedes-Benz is already offering German clients Level 3 autonomous capabilities. But full-self driving? We're not there yet - unless, of course, you look at the burgeoning commercial autonomous ride-hail services.

Earlier this year, GM-backed Cruise announced it would provide San Francisco residents with a fully-approved driverless taxi service. Now, it's ready to expand and plans to deploy self-driving Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles in Phoenix, Arizona, and Austin, Texas, over the next three months.

Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said the development is justified by the company's excellent performance in the Golden City.


As per Bloomberg, Vogt told attendees at a Goldman Sachs conference that "for the first time in eight years the technology for [autonomous vehicles] is no longer the bottleneck ... we're in a position to grow and to do it very quickly." Since the Cruise vehicles hit the streets, the company has seen its fair share of problems.

In June, one of the vehicles was involved in a collision with a Toyota Prius, causing multiple injuries. It turns out the Cruise-owned Bolt was reportedly fitted with software that could not register the oncoming vehicle. A recall was issued and the problem was remedied with a software update.


Shortly after this, a group of self-driving Cruise vehicles caused a stir in San Francisco, huddling together and blocking traffic at a busy intersection. Weirdly, the robotic cars were only able to move once Cruise employees arrived on the scene to take control. These mishaps seem to be in the past if Vogt's confidence is anything to go by.

The tech company's planned expansion is aiming to add $1 billion in revenue by 2025, which is only the first step. Cruise is hoping to grow the firm to $50 billion in revenue before the end of the decade, reports Bloomberg. For the first half of 2022, Cruise reported $51 million in sales and operating losses of $868 million.


While the company's advancements are remarkable and show plenty of promise, Cruise does have competition. Motional and Lyft have partnered up to provide a similar experience to the inhabitants of Las Vegas. Self-driving Hyundai Ioniq 5 taxis will be made available on the latter's ride-share app and, in 2023, the duo plans to launch the service in several other American cities.

The autonomous vehicle is a divisive concept, with many arguing that the technology simply isn't ready for widespread adoption. There's a case to be made for this; self-driving vehicles have been involved in myriad crashes since various companies began testing years ago. It remains to be seen whether Cruise will be successful in Phoenix and Austin and, for the firm's sake, we hope it can pull this task off.

Source Credits: Bloomberg

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