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Cruise Origin Is Slated for Production in the Coming Months, Prototype Still Has a Driver

Cruise Origin is slated for production in the coming months 6 photos
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Cruise is more famous for the traffic blockages that its autonomous vehicles are causing in San Francisco every once in a while. The company wants to change that when the Cruise Origin self-driving capsule will launch “in the coming months.”

Although not lacking in controversies, GM’s Cruise is one of the few companies in the world that deployed commercial ride-hailing services using autonomous vehicles. Its signature Chevy Bolt EVs already roam the streets of San Francisco, where they sometimes cause chaos by blocking traffic. It might not seem obvious, but the company’s goal is to build a self-driving capsule that doesn’t need a steering wheel to chauffeur people around.

The Cruise Origin pod was developed by Cruise in partnership with Honda and was expected to enter production early next year. The moment might come even sooner than that, according to Cruise’s Twitter account. In fact, a prototype of the capsule is already undergoing testing in San Francisco right now. But because there’s something unusual about it, Cruise wanted to warn us that this is not the final version of the capsule.

“Our purpose-built AV, the Origin, is on track for production,” wrote Cruise. “While we eagerly await its arrival for commercial use in the coming months, you may see a human-operated Origin prototype driving on the streets of SF.”

According to Cruise, the Origin capsule undergoing testing in San Francisco is a customized prototype designed to be driven by a human. This is necessary as the company validates perception models and object-tracking systems specific to the Origin. The information implies that the Origin is different from the Bolt EV in terms of automated driving systems. Therefore, testing with a human driver is still required until the certification is granted.

There’s no further information available, although Cruise promises more updates in the future. Origin will likely be the world’s first mass-produced vehicle with no pedals and no steering wheel, although it’s too early to say whether it will be a better driver than the Bolt EV that Cruise currently uses in San Francisco. It better be, considering the insane cash burn rate the autonomous driving startup is experiencing.



 
 
 
 
 

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