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Cruise Gets $5 Billion From GM to Start Production of Its Origin Robotaxis

Cruise, a majority-owned subsidiary of General Motors, secured the bag with an investment of $5 billion from GM’s financial arm. Now we can finally see autonomous Origin vehicles start to roll off the assembly line.
Cruise secures $5B from General Motors to start producing its autonomous vehicles 6 photos
The Cruise Origin vehicle starts entering the production phaseThe Cruise Origin vehicle starts entering the production phaseThe Cruise Origin vehicle starts entering the production phaseThe Cruise Origin vehicle starts entering the production phaseThe Cruise Origin vehicle starts entering the production phase
In January of last year, the company unveiled the Cruise Origin, a Level 4–5 autonomous vehicle designed for ride hailing services. The Origin is a self-driving robotaxi that was designed from the ground up rather than retrofitted from a non-autonomous vehicle. It has no mirrors, pedals, or steering wheel. The vehicle is all-electric and is said to have a one-million-mile lifespan.

Since it was first announed, Origin has already reached a few milestones. The California Department of Motor Vehicles granted Cruise a licence to test fully driverless vehicles in October 2020. Two months later, the company began testing its vehicles on San Francisco’s streets without a human safety driver present.

Recently Honda announced a partnership with Cruise in order to introduce the Origin to Japan as part of Honda's Mobility as a Service (MaaS) plan. Since then, engineers from GM, Honda and Cruise have worked to kept the everything on track for the production of the robotaxis at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Plant (now rebranded as Factory ZERO assembly plant).

But the company needed the money to roll off the assembly line its first Origins – and it got them. Cruise secured $5 billion from GM’s financial division to purchase thousands of autonomous vehicles. The first test vehicles have just begun production.

”This bumps up Cruise’s total war chest to over $10 billion as we enter commercialization.” says Cruise CEO Dan Ammann in a blog post.

While we don’t have more details about the a launch date, GM announced plans to invest $2.2 billion into its factory to produce the all-electric GMC HUMMER EV pickup, the first of a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs later this year. Cruise Origin will follow soon after it undergoes intensive testing this summer.

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