More Details About Cruise’s Robotaxi Service

As of Feb. 1, self-driving technology maker Cruise, a division of General Motors, has opened its robotaxi service to the general public in San Francisco. Interested San Franciscans can register at GetCruise.com and should be able to gradually join the program. Between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., the cars will be allowed to operate without a driver; during other hours, a safety driver must be present in the vehicle in the driver’s seat.

In the process, more questions have come up among interested parties, which Cruise VP Oliver Cameron has now answered. He gave the following answers to some of the questions:

  • No non-disclosure agreement required to drive;
  • Cruise strongly believes LiDAR is part of the sensor package;
  • No teleoperators, but remote assistants who manually input information until the car has enough confidence to drive autonomously;
  • Cruise wants to scale in San Francisco and Phoenix first, then expand the robotaxi service to other cities;
  • Cruise is developing a system to map and expand to other cities;
  • Autonomous vehicles are better able to respond to supply and demand for rides by automatically adjusting the number of rides needed and sending the rest back to the depot;
  • Other San Francisco neighborhoods are being added one by one;
  • Cruise has a permit for up to 200 vehicles on the street in San Francisco;
  • The maximum speed driven by Cruise is 25 miles per hour (40 Km/h) in San Francisco, and 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) in Phoenix;

Other details are that the California Public Utility Commission, the regulatory agency responsible for cab regulations, has not yet granted permission to charge passengers for hauling. The area of San Francisco currently covered in this regard includes the following areas: Nob Hill, Sunset, Richmond and an area around Golden Gate Park. Here is a map of this:

Meanwhile, Cruise has also begun building 1,000 Cruise Origins, a new type of vehicle that is not expected to enter service until 2023 at the earliest.

This article was also published in German.

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