If you read this site with any regularity we assume that you are a driving enthusiast, at least we hope you are. If that is the case then you may want to click to a different story as the driverless GM Cruise Origin debuted in the US yesterday.
Autonomous and electric
Fledgling automaker Cruise is a majority-owned subsidiary of General Motors. The company introduced its first vehicle the driverless GM Cruise Origin in San Francisco on Tuesday night. The autonomous car has no instrumentation, steering wheel or pedals. Chucking out all the driving controls has freed up space in the cabin. Two rows of seats, that accommodate six occupants, face each other in a lounge-like environment. The cabin is accessed by a pair of sliding doors.
Click here to check out a Mercedes-Benz concept car that imagines a very distant future of motoring.
Cruise has permission to test driverless vehicles on public roads in California, but only if they have a human driver on board. The Origin uses a multitude of sensors that track multiple people and objects. Its creators claim that it can sense movement even in pitch-black conditions and inclement weather such as rain or fog.
Cruise plans to take on traditional taxis and ride-hailing services with the Cruise Origin. The company will own the entire fleet of vehicles. Origin will be based on a new electric car platform that is modular and upgradeable. This means the car will constantly be improved. There will also be no drivers to pay, which will help cut running costs. Cruise says the Origin will have a useable life of over 1,6 million kilometres.
In his own words
Unlike other autonomous shuttles, the Cruise Origin is heading for production. However, the company did not confirm a release date. “It is self-driven. It is all-electric. It is shared. It is a production vehicle,” Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said.
GM, via Cruise, is just one of the major automakers working on an autonomous shuttle that removes drivers from the commuting equation. While we are of the opinion that many people should not be allowed on the roads, we see a future when no human will be allowed to control a vehicle, which is terrifying for driving enthusiasts. The take away for us is to get out there and drive, while you still can.