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.