Cruise, like most industries, admits the technical challenges of self-drive cars are more difficult than previously thought. Its first plan is to launch an autonomous ride-hailing service by the end of 2019. Vogt learned his lesson: He said it would no longer be “reasonable to put in a difficult, difficult deadline or date” when fleets are real that no driver vehicles can carry paying passengers to San Francisco.
Among the challenges, according to Vogt: Cruise needs to know that the vehicle is safe to operate if, say, an internal wire is released. It is important to know that the car will safely respond to a situation that it has not been trained to deal with. To that end, Cruise has been testing unmanned cars for months at a General Motors facility in Michigan.
San Franciscans are not always comfortable trying to drive themselves. In the five years since the Cruise trial began in California, its cars have reportedly been involved in skirmishes with cabbies, and even carried a thousand golf balls in the windshield. Collision reports posted by the DMV indicate that self-driving test vehicles in California are involved in occasional fender-benders. The latest report, since September, shows tests on Cruise vehicles in autonomous mode that are back-end, collided, and involved in collisions, which according to reports sometimes leave drivers unsafe. company with neck or back pain. Self-driving advocates say that while software-driven vehicles will not be perfect, they will keep roads safer than people, who are sometimes distracted, tired, or drunk. Neither the office of the mayor of San Francisco nor the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency responded to questions about the new Cruise permit.
That future may be hard to imagine, but Cruise has some ideas. The company earlier this year presented a San Francisco launch event for a vehicle it called Source, a six-seater electric vehicle intended for autonomous ride-hailing and delivery. “This is what you would build if there were no cars,”; Ammann, the CEO, said.
This story originally appeared on wired.com.