Cruise Origin Gets the Green Light
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Cruise Origin Gets the Green Light

Cruise Origin side view door ajar

Get ready for the next step in autonomous vehicles becoming real – the Cruise Origin driverless is coming!

Cruise, the autonomous vehicle company owned by General Motors, has received approval from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to begin testing its Level 4 and 5-capable autonomous vehicle, the Origin, on the state’s public roads.

The Origin is ultimately for ridesharing, and it can fit up to four passengers, with no steering wheel or even a sun visor (since the lack of driver won’t exactly be needing to block the sun from their eyes). The company has been testing the vehicle with a human supervisor on board, but this latest development means that it can now be tested without human supervision.

The Cruise Origin still faces a few bureaucratic stepping stones before it can be widely rolled out. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t approved the vehicle yet, and the agency is investigating reports of hard braking and random stops creating traffic jams. In addition, the Origin must get a deployment permit from the California DMV and another, similar document from the state’s Public Utilities Commission.

However, Cruise is not the only company in the autonomous driving space, with six other companies – including Waymo, WeRide, and Zoox – holding driverless public testing permits from California’s DMV.

While a total replacement of internal combustion engine cars with electric vehicles may not solve all of our traffic problems, the introduction of autonomous, multi-passenger vehicles could be a major help. Commuting is one way for people to officially disconnect from work, and with autonomous vehicles, people could do just that without worrying about driving, gas (or electricity) costs, insurance, and everyone’s nemesis: parking.

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AUTHOR: 

JESSICA MCCORMICK

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