Cruise begins opening up its self-driving cars to taxi-style adult transportation. The company does not use security drivers. It starts in San Francisco, initially even free of charge. Individual friends and relatives of the workforce have already been allowed to board.
The company belonging to the General Motors group has that announced on Tuesday. At the same time, the company announced that Softbank has invested an additional $1.35 billion in Cruise. The company plans to use the money to hire new employees and expand its operations in San Francisco and beyond. Cruise has been doing test drives in San Francisco since the end of 2020 without a safety driver.
License to collect is still missing
The fact that the transport is free for the time being has regulatory reasons: Although Cruise has approvals from the California Transportation Authority for chauffeur-free test operations and also for taking non-company passengers, another authority is responsible for licenses for commercial passenger transport. Cruise has not yet gotten their approval; it may take strangers with it, but may not charge anything.
Anyone wishing to travel with Cruise must be at least 18 years old and put themselves on a waiting list. Cruise does not impose the non-disclosure agreements (NDA) that are common in the USA. Passengers who are being transported are therefore free to talk about their driving experience without any hesitation.
Short night trips only
First of all, the offer is quite limited, like Techcrunch reports. Cruise will initially operate from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and only in the northwest corner of the city, namely the Haight-Ashbury, Richmond District, Chinatown and Pacific Heights neighborhoods. The latter is considered one of the most expensive spots in the entire United States of America.
Cruise not only has money, but also well-known partners. In addition to the parent company GM and Softbank, Honda is also among the investors. Microsoft has also entered the Robotaxi company. Chevrolet Bolts in particular are used for the driving service. In March of last year, Cruise took over the senior carriage Voyage.