J e more self-driving cars will be presented, which are primarily for ride Hailing, car sharing and shuttle services are intended, the more it becomes clear: The vehicles of tomorrow will probably be highly networked, intelligent and clean, but certainly not design delicacies. All of this also applies to the Cruise Origin, which has now been launched in California. The first own model of the General Motors subsidiary, which specializes in technologies for autonomous vehicles, joins the ranks of those rolling cuboids whose task is to get as many passengers as possible safely from A to B in a small space. And that should revolutionize the mobility of urban people.
In a future in which cars are no longer owned but only used, Cruise consequently does not want to offer the Origin for sale. Instead, it should become part of its own ride-hailing fleet. Such mobiles are booked by passengers using an app. These are collected in the most efficient way possible - calculated using an algorithm - and then deposited again, thus forming a temporary car pool. This is supposed to liquefy the traffic in the cities, protect the environment and enable the users inexpensive but at the same time individual mobility.
The control is taken over by the computer colleague
Of course, these cars do not need a chauffeur; colleague computer takes over control. Accordingly, the Cruise Origin dispenses with a steering wheel, pedals and an instrument panel. This gives him space that is then available to the passengers. Two opposite rows of seats offersix people, overall the interior of the Origin appears to be very airy. The passengers board the shuttle via electric sliding doors; there are large screens inside. The car is based on a new electric car platform from General Motors. Cruise has not yet revealed any further details about the drive technology.
The business model of using Origin in its own ride-hailing service is intended to ensure the necessary quality of the journeys and thus a uniform user experience. The current ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, which still operate with human drivers, still have problems here, because passengers are picked up there with a car that is almost scrapped.
Test laps through San Francisco
Cruise is one of the leading developers of technology for self-driving cars. The company's 150 test vehicles based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV have been on the road in San Francisco, the home town of the startup, for some time. In the past year alone, the self-driving cars are said to have unwound almost 1.6 billion kilometers there. Because they are confronted with challenges such as pedestrians, cyclists, construction sites and the like much more frequently in the Californian metropolis than those competitors who are on the road in Arizona, for example, Cruise expects this to have a greater learning effect for its technology.
For Cruise promises the Origin several redundancies. The car should therefore still be safe on the road if something goes wrong when recording and calculating people or objects or if the networking or power supply fails. Cruise uses multiple moving sensor units designed to track people and objects. As a result, the Origin should function properly even in heavy rain or thick fog. There are also camera and lidar systems. Thanks to the modular structure, individual sensors or the computer can be upgraded gradually. This is supposed to keep costs as low as the announcement that a Cruise Origin will have a lifetime of oneMillion miles (a good 1.6 million kilometers).
It is not yet clear when exactly the self-driving taxi will go into production. Cruise gives a specific number in only one respect: The average household in San Francisco is expected to be relieved of up to $ 5,000 annually if they use the company's ride-hailing service instead of owning their own car.