Cruise Applies For Permit To Extend Autonomous Vehicle Testing Throughout California

General Motors’ Cruise unit has submitted a request to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) seeking permission to test its autonomous vehicles throughout the state. The move comes as the company looks to expand its testing beyond its San Francisco hometown and eventually to other cities such as Los Angeles.

For the last two years Cruise has been testing its autonomous ride-hailing service in San Francisco. The company’s spokesman, Drew Pusateri, said in a statement on Monday that while the application does not represent any immediate change to its testing or operations, Cruise hopes to continue working with the California DMV to safely and responsibly test its services in other cities in the future. (via Associated Press)

If granted, the test permit will only allow Cruise to carry non-employee passengers within San Francisco. However, testing with employees could be done statewide at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour).

In addition to its San Francisco operations, Cruise has also been testing autonomous Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles, carrying employees, friends, and family members in central Austin, Texas, and parts of Phoenix. The company has been under investigation by US safety regulators over reports that its autonomous robotaxis can unexpectedly come to a halt, potentially stranding passengers.

Despite the investigation, Cruise says it has driven 1 million autonomous miles (1.6 million autonomous kilometers) without causing any life-threatening injuries or deaths and is cooperating fully in the probe.

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