In the latest flashpoint of a highly-congested race towards developing autonomous vehicles technology, California-based Cruise LLC., owned by the Detroit-headquartered fossil-fuel powered No. 1 US passenger carmaker General Motors, had received a permit to drive its self-driving cars in the streets of San Francisco without any attendant, becoming the first automaker to receive such a permit from the US state of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, Cruise LLC.
said in a statement on Thursday. In point of fact, as the race towards becoming a global leader in autonomous driving technology appeared to be heating up, latest announcement from GM-owned Cruise LLC. came forth days after the Google’s self-driving unit Waymo had received a permit to use its driverless robo-taxis for commercial purposes in the US city of Phoenix.
Cruise allowed to roam empty in San Francisco
Notably, latest progress in autonomous driving technology from Cruise LLC., which involves the first permit for an autonomous driving technology to test its driverless cars in the action-packed San Francisco streets, followed months of R&D and testing, while Cruise LLC., majority owned by General Motors and backed by heavy-weight investors likes of Japanese tech investment tycoon SoftBank and the Japanese automotive giant Honda Motor Co., has been testing about 180 autonomous cars with attendants behind the wheel in the San Francisco streets, while the permit allowed five of them to roam without a safety driver.
Aside from that, followed by Thursday’s announcement, addressing the permit a major leap forward to developing driverless robo-taxis for the US city of San Francisco, Cruise LLC.
Chief Executive Dan Ammann said, “So that’s a step or two beyond what we’ll be doing initially with this permit. It’s not too far down the road. ” In tandem, adding that the licence would be an important step for Cruise LLC.
to charge customers for driverless rides in a near-future, Ammann added in a blog post late in the day, “We’re not the first company to receive this permit, but we’re going to be the first to put it to use on the streets of a major U.S. city”.