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GM Debuts Autonomous Shared Vehicle

GM Debuts Autonomous Shared Vehicle

General Motors’ Cruise Automation division has debuted an autonomous vehicle designed for ride sharing services. Known as the Cruise Origin, the pod-like vehicle is supposedly coming to production without a steering wheel or pedals, but there’s still many questions.

Generally speaking the Origin is quite similar to all the other autonomous pods that automakers have revealed in recent years as concepts, only this one is supposedly production-ready. There’s seating for six inside the spacious interior; space made available thanks to the lack of a steering wheel and other traditional components.

While Cruise is showing photos of the interior, there’s still several open questions. For example, the photos show air bag indicators on the ceiling, but it isn’t clear how the air bags deploy given the passengers are facing each other.

Cruise says the Origin is based on an existing GM architecture and will be powered by a battery-electric powertrain. Aside from confirming those two vague details, nothing else is known. Cruise says the Origin should be good for one-million miles, but its power, efficiency and other relevant information are still questions.

Cruise Origin will be summoned through a ride-sharing app developed by Cruise. This gives Cruise an advantage over services like Uber and Lyft because it gives users a consistent experience since all rides are on Origins.

So far no one is saying when the Origin will be rolling on the streets, but Cruise has confirmed the first city to see action will be San Francisco.


About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. adk024
    I'd like to see these replace busses and other such public transportation that clog up the streets in big cities, other than that, I just don't see this as a real thing.
    The details on this will be very, very interesting. How long until this is viable? What are the legislative changes that need to happen to make this possible? Will it be geofenced in specific areas where Cruise has high-quality maps to back up the on-board sensors and AI? What will it cost and who will own these?

    My guess -- legislation will be an issue to implementation, meaning it will roll out in a few pilot areas first to demonstrate that the issues have been defined and addressed (and creating a template for appropriate legislative frameworks). I'm guessing this will be geofenced in dense urban areas and not use limited access highways. And, I'm guessing the primary buyers might be taxi/ride hailing services, who can move to a business model that doesn't include human labour and who already have experience in terms of the rest of the process. That said, some innovative transit authorities might buy fleets of these to connect to high-density transit as a last-mile solution.
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