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GM’s Cruise unit unveils driverless vehicle for ride-sharing service


Dan Ammann, chief executive officer of Cruise, a Honda and General Motors self-driving car partnership, speaks on stage at the launch of the Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle in San Francisco, California, U.S. January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

(Reuters) – General Motors Co’s (GM.N) self-driving car unit, Cruise, on Tuesday unveiled an electric vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals for use in its planned autonomous ride-sharing service, but did not say when it would go into production.

The vehicle, named “Cruise Origin”, was developed with Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T), which took a minority stake in Cruise in 2018 in an effort to catch up with rivals in developing a technology with enormous costs and risk and no market-ready products.

Cruise’s Chief Executive Officer, Dan Ammann, said the boxy vehicle with sliding doors will be used for the company’s own ride-hailing service.

Ammann did not say when the new service, which would compete with Lyft (LYFT.O) and Uber (UBER.N), would be launched. Cruise still needs a waiver from U.S. regulators to operate vehicles without human controls.

The unit, which was valued at $19 billion following a $1.15 billion round of investment in May, previously scrapped a plan of launching a robotaxi service by the end of 2019.

While carmakers across the world are racing to develop self-driving technology, it has yet to gain widespread consumer acceptance as recent accidents involving such vehicles raised doubts about its readiness for public roads.

Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee in San Francisco and Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva


via Reuters