The use of robotaxis is expanding throughout the country—the next stop is Phoenix and Austin.
- Self-driving cars are no longer something of the future—the time is here and they are quickly becoming popular.
- The self-driving car business Cruise, mostly owned by General Motors, is planning to expand its robotaxi fleet to Phoenix and Austin.
- The robotaxi is a self-driving car that picks up passengers like a regular cab, but there is no driver. Cruise states that it focuses on safety, sustainability, and inclusivity in its vehicles to make the roads a safer place.
- Passengers can request the car like any other taxi and it will take them to their destination.
- As of now, Cruise only offers its self-driving cars in San Francisco, where it was able to begin charging for rides this year. It took years for the cars to be able to charge money in the city, but the company says it can do it in Phoenix and Austin in 90 days.
Why it’s news
Autonomous cars have been a big conversation for a while now, and Phoenix and Austin have been hotspots for autonomous-car development.
Cruise is planning to expand to the cities by the end of the year and is aiming to add $1 billion in revenue by 2025.
The services will initially be small scale, but from the outset the robotaxi services will be driverless, a term that means a human safety operator will not be behind the wheel, Cruise CEO and co-founder Kyle Vogt said during a speech at Goldman Sachs’s Communacopia and Technology Conference.
The rides will most likely be free when they are first introduced in the cities, but Cruise plans to start charging shortly after.
Cruise has a goal of growing its business to $50 billion in revenue by the end of the decade, making it a key piece of GM’s strategy to double its total sales to $280 billion by 2030. Cruise reported $51 million in sales in the first half of this year and an $868 million operating loss, according to Bloomberg.
Cruise has ambitious plans of expanding across the country in the upcoming future. Vogt says Cruise and General Motors will start boosting manufacturing of Cruise’s purpose-built AV, the Origin, in order to supply new markets.
“Next year, things get really interesting on the growth side,” says Vogt. “There’s gonna be thousands of AVs rolling out of the General Motors plant, including the first Origins. We’ll be using those to light up many more markets and to start to generate meaningful revenue in those markets.”