Cruise has extended its driverless robotaxi service to daytime hours • TechCrunch

Cruise is expanding its self-driving ride service in San Francisco to daytime hours, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt tweeted Wednesday.

The robotaxi service is now available to employees 24 hours a day. Eventually, these extended hours of operation will become available to the public. The enhanced hours are the latest expansion of driverless operations at GM’s San Francisco subsidiary.

Cruise opened its driverless robotaxi service, in which there is no human safety operator, to the public in early 2022. Rides were initially free, limited to small parts of the city, and only offered between 11 p.m. and 5 am That service has expanded over time. Cruise began charging for trips in June 2022.

Today, public customers can request (and are charged for) self-drive rides between 10 pm and 5 am About 70 AV cruise ships are operating on the service. Cruise has around 300 AVs at its operations in San Francisco, Austin and Phoenix.

Rates include a base rate of $5 and a rate of $0.90 per mile and $0.40 per minute. A 1.5% city tax is also included in the price. An estimated fare is calculated using the estimated time and distance of the fastest and most optimal route. Cruise shares that estimated fare with customers and will charge that amount if the actual voyage time or distance takes longer. Cruise has no rising prices.

cruise robotaxi operations 2022

Image Credits: Cruise

Earlier this month, Cruise expanded its service area to most of San Francisco. For now, that expanded area is only available to employees.

Cruise is also expanding its operations to Austin and Phoenix. In October, the company invited potential riders in Phoenix and Austin to join the waiting list to be among the first robotaxi riders. During GM’s third-quarter earnings call, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said the company remains on track to complete its first commercial driverless public rides and deliveries by the end of the year.

Cruise is likely to follow a similar playbook in Austin and Phoenix as he has in San Francisco, albeit at a faster pace considering both locations are in states with fewer regulatory hurdles than California. In San Francisco, Cruise usually starts with its own employees and then opens it up to the public. The service area and hours also start small and grow, each time being offered first to employees.

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