GM’s Cruise Robotaxi service will expand to Phoenix, Austin

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — General Motors’ self-driving car company said Monday it plans to expand a recently launched robotaxi service in California into new markets in Arizona and Texas before the end of this year.

Cruise, a San Francisco startup that General Motors bought six years ago, told an audience at an investor conference that a self-driving transportation service that began charging San Francisco passengers in June will debut in Phoenix and Austin, Texas in the next 90 days.

As it has done in parts of San Francisco overnight, Cruise’s ride-hailing service will transport passengers in vehicles that will not have a safety driver to take control in the event of a robotic technology malfunction. . Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt did not provide additional details on ride-sharing services in Phoenix and Austin.

When its ride-sharing service enters Phoenix, Cruise will be competing with another robotaxi service run by Waymo, a Google spinoff, which already charges passengers there. Waymo is also testing a robotaxi service in San Francisco that has not yet been allowed to charge passengers.

Although Vogt told investors that the driverless ride service in San Francisco was gaining many loyal customers, Cruise ran into trouble the day after receiving his license from California regulators to start collecting fares.

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In a regulatory disclosure earlier this month, Cruise revealed it recalled 80 of its driverless vehicles for a software update after one of the cars was involved in a crash that resulted in minor injuries. .

Cruise told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that one of his vehicles was making an unprotected left turn at an intersection when it was struck by an oncoming vehicle. The Cruise vehicle had to be towed away from the scene, according to the regulatory filing.

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