Miami will be the latest addition to GM’s portfolio of cities where Cruise is active

Graham Hope

July 25, 2023

3 Min Read
Cruise

General Motors’ self-driving arm Cruise is branching out to another city.

The company, which was responsible for America’s first commercialized driverless taxi service in San Francisco, has confirmed that Miami, Florida, is next on its radar with a statement on Twitter. 

A tweet from the company account read: “Miami… We’re excited to start initial testing and data collection in your vibrant city tomorrow! Phase 1 is to familiarize our fleet with additional, diverse road conditions while collecting data.

“This is all part of our mission to improve road safety and bring driverless rides to as many people as possible.”

Miami will be the latest addition to a burgeoning portfolio of cities that Cruise is active in, following the launch of testing in Phoenix, Arizona, and Austin, Texas, at the end of 2022 and an announcement in May that Houston and Dallas were also in its sights.

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In the Texas cities, Cruise has been testing with human supervisors, but it is anticipated driverless operations will get underway soon.

As yet, Cruise has not yet offered up much in the way of detail regarding its plans for Miami. There is no confirmation of how many vehicles it intends to operate initially. Nor is it clear if the company intends to test the converted Chevrolet Bolts that have become a familiar sight in San Francisco; its purpose-built Origin, a boxy people mover built from the ground up as an autonomous vehicle that has no steering wheel; or a mixture of both.

Related:Cruise Launches in Phoenix and Austin

Last year, CEO Kyle Vogt promised significant growth for Cruise in 2023, claiming: “There’s going to be thousands of AVs rolling out of General Motors plants, including the first Origins. And we’ll be using those to light up in many more markets and to start to generate meaningful revenue in those markets.” But there has been little evidence of that to date.

The Miami news comes at a sensitive time for Cruise, which has attracted some high-profile criticism of its operations in San Francisco. A protest group called Safe Street Rebel has been disabling its cars – and those of rival Waymo – by placing cones on their bonnets.

Safe Street Rebel has become frustrated at the disruption being caused by self-driving taxis in San Francisco, which has included the blocking of traffic and first responder vehicles – concerns that have been mirrored by some city bodies including the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

As the volume of dissent has grown, the California Public Utilities Commission has delayed a hearing that was due to be held to consider applications from Cruise and Waymo to run their services 24/7 across the city.

Related:Self-Driving Taxis Starting to Roll in Dallas, Houston

Aware of the criticism, Cruise has been vehemently pressing the case for AVs, running adverts in the New York Times and other publications under the headline “Humans Are Terrible Drivers”. CEO Vogt said: “Human drivers aren’t good enough. America can do better, and it is time we fully embrace AVs.”

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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