We’re live in San Francisco as Cruise is holding a special event called “Moving Beyond the Car.”
The company has been tight-lipped about specifics, but the event will highlight the company’s plan to “move beyond the gas-powered, human-driven, parked most of the time car to a transportation option that is self-driving, all-electric, and shared.”
That’s not much to go on, but Cruise was acquired by GM in 2016 and has seen investments from both Honda and the SoftBank Vision Fund. The company has been testing autonomous Chevrolet Bolts for awhile and teased a purpose-built autonomous vehicle back in 2018.
Cruise purpose-built autonomous vehicle teaser
More recently, the company has been fine-tuning its autonomous driving technology and working to get approval for a Bolt without a steering wheel or pedals. NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens recently said a decision would “definitely” come this year, so it possible we might learn more about that tonight.
Regardless of what’s going to be announced, we’ll be providing live updates throughout the event and a detailed wrap up after things conclude.
4:45 PST – We’re here and waiting for things to begin. There’s four prototypes in the lobby showing the development of Cruise’s various autonomous vehicles.
Not a lot of details yet, but Cruise will be showing a new vehicle that is coming in the future and is shareable, electric and autonomous.
5:05 PST – Cruise says this is a different transportation system entirely, one that doesn’t follow decades of human-focused design. We’ve made progress in the past 50 years, but things haven’t changed significantly as they’re still designed around human drivers.
Meet the Cruise Origin
Origin has advanced sensors, can see in the dark and see far better than humans.
The car rides on a new platform and is upgradable. The interior is also spacious as it doesn’t use manual controls.
Promises “super human” levels of safety, will also be affordable as the company needs a “huge” number of people to use the Origin. CEO says it could save users $5,000 annually over owning a traditional car.
Lifespan of over a 1,000,000 miles thanks to being modular and upgradable. This and being autonomous will significantly lower prices.
Peek into the future, possible Cruise autonomous cargo pods. This particular setup appears to be a delivery vehicle for a shipping company or online retailer.
No detailed specifications quite yet, but the vehicle is larger than it looks. Not quite a minivan, but somewhat similar in size.
The interior holds up to six passengers and seems airy and spacious. The design is also pleasing as there’s a wood floor and multiple displays. The latter presumably could be used to show destination information or entertainment options.
That’s a wrap on our live coverage, we’ll be following up with more in a bit.