Employees at self-driving technology company Cruise, which is owned by General Motors, will be the first passengers of the company’s fully self-driving taxis in San Francisco. These cars were able to move around the city without the presence of the driver behind the wheel. Some townspeople will also be able to use the service – and completely free of charge.
The first passenger of the service was co-founder, technical director and president of Cruise Kyle Vogt (Kyle Vogt): At about 11 pm on Monday, we started the car for the first time without people in the cabin. So far, we’ve done trials with people in the driver’s or passenger’s seat, so this was the first time. She drove around town waiting for a ride order. At 11:20 am I used the Cruise app and placed my first order. A few minutes later, one of the unmanned Cruise vehicles (named Sourdough) pulled up and stopped. There was no one in the car. I pressed the Start Ride button and the car started smoothly.
Mr. Vogt also said that he booked five more rides that night. In accordance with a permit issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, a driverless Cruise taxi can only operate from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM at a maximum speed of 48 km / h. The company received permission in early October. According to the document, it can work with unmanned vehicles and charge for the delivery of goods, but the transportation of passengers should be free.
The launch of the service took place a week after GM CEO Mary Barra announced the company’s readiness to open commercial operation of a fully unmanned vehicle for the delivery of goods and transportation of passengers by the end of the year. Passenger toll authorization must be issued by the California Public Utilities Commission, but no such authorization has yet been applied for.