General Motors' Cruise unit signals progress with Dubai deal

FILE PHOTO: A Cruise self-driving car, which is owned by General Motors Corp, is seen outside the company’s headquarters in San Francisco where it does most of its testing, in California, U.S., September 26, 2018. Picture taken on September 26, 2018. REUTERS/Heather Somerville/File Photo

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co's majority owned Cruise self-driving car subsidiary said on Monday it plans to begin deploying its robotaxis in Dubai beginning in 2023, in a deal that signals the company is more confident about launching its first commercial service in San Francisco before then.

Dubai's Road and Transit Authority and Cruise said in a joint statement that Cruise will deploy a limited number of its purpose-built Cruise Origin vehicles in the emirate in 2023, making Dubai the first city outside the United States where Cruise will operate. By 2030, Cruise and Dubai's transit authority said they plan to have 4,000 self-driving taxis in operation. Cruise will be the exclusive robotaxi service provider in the emirate until 2029.

Cruise and GM executives have said Cruise will launch its commercial service first in the startup's hometown of San Francisco, before expanding elsewhere. The company on Monday did not say when it plans to launch its rides for hire service in San Francisco, saying that will depend on when the company's automated vehicles are deemed safe.

When Cruise's autonomous vehicles are ready to start carrying people or goods for money, the company will get another $1.35 billion from minority investor Softbank, according to GM filings.

Cruise and Alphabet Inc's Waymo are leaders among the pack of companies racing to develop driverless taxis and delivery vehicles. Difficult technology challenges, an uncertain regulatory environment and the pandemic have combined to slow progress for all players in the nascent industry.

Cruise previously had a goal of launching a commercial ride service by the end of 2019, but set that target aside saying it needed to do more testing and technology development.

Waymo has also been slow to accelerate the launch of commercial services in its main test market in Phoenix. Earlier this month said its chief executive, John Krafcik, had left the company and replaced him with two co-CEOs.

(Reporting By Joe White. Additional reporting by Maher Chmaytelli. Editing by Grant McCool)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3


Next In Tech News

Earth Talk: What are the environmental pros and cons of GPS apps?
Lifestyle influencer reveals she had to put down her dog for aggression; Internet bites back
Opinion: Relax, Donald you don't need Facebook to reach your fans online
Covid-19 conspiracy beliefs increased among conservative and social media users, Penn study finds
Cyberattack on pipeline spotlights holes in U.S. energy security
Cyber attack shuts down U.S. fuel pipeline 'jugular,' Biden briefed
Uber and Arrival confirm deal to produce electric vehicles
Twitter opens up its Clubhouse rival Spaces for more users
Exclusive: U.S. Justice Department probing Kabbage, fintechs over PPP loan calculations - sources
Something between Star Trek and silence: Sound design for e-vehicles

Stories You'll Enjoy