GM has announced its Cruise test cars have achieved one million miles without a human behind the wheel.
Most of the driverless miles were accrued in San Francisco.
GM’s subsidiary Cruise started testing driving without safety drivers in the city in November 2021, becoming the first company to obtain a driverless operating permit from the California Public Utilities Commission. The license allowed it to start charging the public for robotaxi services last year.
From documentation filed with the California DMV, Cruise had about 30 cars at the beginning of 2022, which had increased to 100 by September. It plans to add 5,000 more.
EVP of engineering, Mo Elshenawy, described the miles as packed with complex scenarios that have set Cruise up for rapid scale. Thanks to the vibrant nature of San Francisco, Cruise has gathered tons of data to refine its technology.
The data from each drive is fed into a learning machine that uses millions of permutations of real-life scenarios where the car has to make a decision. Elshenawy said, “When you consider our safety record, the gravity of our team’s achievement comes into sharper focus. To date, riders have taken tens of thousands of rides in Cruise AVs. In the coming years, millions of people will experience this fully driverless future for themselves.”
This progress has not come without its problems. The NHTSA has opened an investigation into Cruise’s robotaxi for collisions and blocking traffic.
Cruise is also up against San Francisco authorities trying to slow down its progress after multiple incidents.