Cruise has based the Origin on a vehicle chassis that will also be used in dozens of other GM electric vehicle models, which will enable economies of scale, and the van was created to enable an exceptionally long service life.
The Origin represents another significant step for Cruise, which had only 40 employees when GM bought it in 2016 as part of its effort to catch up in the race to build cars that can drive themselves.
Cruise had planned to have a robotaxi service consisting of Chevrolet Bolts working without human backup drivers by the end of 2019, but moved away from that past year after one of Uber's autonomous test vehicles ran down and killed a pedestrian in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe, Arizona, during 2018. The vehicle, named "Cruise Origin", was developed with Honda Motor Co Ltd, which took a minority stake in Cruise in 2018 in an effort to catch up with rivals in developing a technology with enormous costs and risk and no market-ready products. With an estimated lifespan of well over 1 million miles (1.6 million km), it should also be a pretty interesting business opportunity. The company estimates it'll save you $5,000 a year to ride around in this vehicle compared to own your auto.
GM CEO Mary Barra, who made the automaker's $1.5 billion purchase of Cruise in 2016, said previous year that the company would prioritize safety over quick deployment. Cruise then put off public services.
When Cruise originally started working up plans for a driverless ride-sharing service, it focused on modifying GM's familiar Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Competition to achieve such a service is fierce, with big players including the likes of the Alphabet Inc-Owned Waymo, Tesla and Chinese transportation company DiDi.
But the Origin is an autonomous vehicle through and through.
Cruise emphasises the fact that the Origin is a production model, not a concept vehicle.
YouTube TV comes to PS4 as PS Vue moves out
It now costs $49.99/mo, features 70+ channels, free DVR, local sports and news, and no extra fees beyond that $49.99 price. This makes Google the first third-party company to get a tv subscription service on the PS4.
Will Paul Pogba stay at Manchester United? A decision may be coming
There is only one in life and that is that one day you will die. "I'm not sure if (it will happen) now or the end of the season". Sporting were reportedly willing to part ways with Fernandes for just under $50 million last summer.
Motorola's $1500 Foldable Razr to Ship Early February: Pre-Orders Soon
Motorola originally announced the new Razr , an Android-powered smartphone with a foldable display, in November of past year . On the plus side, it does help the Razr be the cheapest phone with a bendable display.
As such, Cruise's new vehicle will likely be used for a driverless ride-sharing service.
Cruise emphasised that the Origin is more than just an idea, however.
Still aware of the fallout from that deadly crash, Cruise is promising "superhuman performance" from the Cruise, which GM hopes to manufacture at half the price of comparable vehicles using fuel-combustion engines.
For Cruise, the key will be getting people to give up personal transportation.
The Origin uses sensors, such as weight and seat belt detection, to identify if someone has entered or exited the vehicle.
"There's an inherent tension between what's good for us and what's good for the rest of the world", Ammann said. "We know the bus is better for the environment. Most of us are still burning up the atmosphere with gasoline because EVs aren't yet affordable". "Past year alone, we accumulated almost a million miles as we autonomously drove almost every road in San Francisco". If enough people use it, congestion will be reduced on the roads and in parking lots.
Consumers have yet to warm in huge numbers to sharing their Uber or Lyft rides with other riders, and Ammann said that Origins can be hailed by a single rider.
"What's it going to be: Convenience or climate?"
"Speed or safety?" said Ammann after taking the stage.