If you haven’t seen Martin Scorcese’s 1976 film “Taxi Driver,” better catch it soon. A robotaxi service in San Francisco may one day make real-live taxi drivers obsolete—and the next showing of this phenomenon just might happen in Dallas.
Cruise, a self-driving car startup that launched in 2013 and was acquired by General Motors in 2016, says it began offering “fully driverless service” in its robotaxis to public riders in San Francisco last January.
Kyle Vogt, Cruise’s co-founder and CEO, announced last week on Twitter that his company’s robotaxi service “is now running 24/7 across all of San Francisco.”
Vogt said that operating robotaxis in San Francisco “has become a litmus test for business viability. If it can work here, there’s little doubt it can work just about everywhere.”
“You’ll soon see us open up full operations in other cities,” Vogt said in a follow-up tweet. “The capabilities and machine learning systems we’ve built to handle things in SF have proven themselves in many other cities around the world.”
Could Cruise robotaxis be Dallas-bound?
According to IoT News, Vogt said Cruise has started advertising for a deputy general manager and commercial operations officer for Dallas—”suggesting that the Texas city could be its next target for expansion.”
Cruise is already operating robotaxis in Phoenix and Austin, IoT News notes.
“When Cruise’s driverless AVs first took to public roads in 2021, we made history as the first company to complete a fully driverless ride in San Francisco,” the company says on its website. “By February 2023, our AVs collectively drove one million driverless miles—a distance equivalent to more than 40 laps around the planet—in fifteen short months. We’re expecting that number to double by mid 2023 and continue to scale exponentially as our fleet grows in the coming years.”
Cruise was valued at over $30 billion in 2021
Cruise got a huge injection of capital in 2018 when it received an additional $3.35 billion investment from GM and Softbank, followed that year by a $750 million investment from Honda, which committed $2 billion to developing a new autonomous vehicle, the Origin. Another $1.115 investment round in 2019 was led by T. Rowe Price.
In 2021, Microsoft, GM, Honda, Walmart, and institutional investors—in a combined new equity investment of $2.75B—brought Cruise’s valuation to over $30 billion, the company reported.
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