First driver-less car launched by General Motors, Cruise

First driver-less car launched by General Motors, Cruise

Cruise, the self-driving car start-up, majority-owned by General Motors, has unveiled its first vehicle designed to be driverless.

The electric-powered Cruise Origin was developed by Honda, which also has a stake in the company.

The launch of the vehicle, which has no steering wheel or pedals, had been delayed from last year.

Cruise said it was designed for shared ownership: “It’s not a product you buy, it’s an experience you share.”

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Chief executive Dan Ammann wants drivers to move away from individual ownership to a sharing model, to help reduce emissions, accidents and congestion.

Speaking at the launch in San Francisco, he also said the Cruise Origin was not a concept vehicle: “It is self-driven. It is all-electric. It is shared. It is a production vehicle.”

Honda took a 5.7% stake in Cruise for $2.75 billion (£2.1bn) in 2018. As part of that deal, General Motors announced plans to develop a self-driving vehicle in October 2018. Japan’s SoftBank’s Vision Fund has also invested in the company.

Other carmakers are in a race to launch self-driving cars using the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technologies although they are being held back by safety concerns and regulations. A number of fatalities involving autonomous vehicles have led to greater government intervention and calls for more development.

German carmaker Volkswagen has been struggling with the development of self-driving cars and has complained about the ”huge complexities that we are facing”.

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