GM looking to let public test its self-driving cars

September 18, 2017

GM’s Cruise Automation plans on letting members of the general public test its self-driving cars, pending regulatory approval. Cruise Anywhere is its ride-hailing service, which is currently limited to GM employees in the San Francisco area.

As with other early tests of autonomous technology, Cruise Anywhere vehicles retain a human driver. The driver’s main role is to monitor the car and act as a failsafe in the event the vehicle’s software — developed by General Motors — misreads a given situation.

GM now joins Volvo, Waymo, Uber, and others in testing its self-driving vehicles on public roads with non-employee passengers.

Under the plan, Cruise Anywhere’s fleet of Bolt EVs will be used to test how GM’s self-driving systems handle the complexities of an urban environment with changing weather, to how passengers react to driverless services. They’ll also be used to gauge user responses to driverless cars, not unlike Ford’s recent tie-in with driverless Domino’s delivery vehicles.

The potential expansion of the Cruise program is the next step in GM’s preparations for an evolving market in the self-driving age. The manufacturer has previously invested heavily in its partnership with Lyft, and its Maven car sharing program has been used to trial delivery programs with GrubHub and Instacart.

The timetable for Cruise Anywhere’s public self-driving public test remains up in the air.

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