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Cruise Automation Reveals Its First Fully-Driverless Car

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GM’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary, Cruise Automation, recently debuted its first 100 percent driverless car. It’s called Cruise Origin. GM intends this model for production sometime in the future. Here’s what we know about the Origin so far.

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A progressive achievement

Up till now, Cruise has only experimented with certain models that were retrofitted with autonomous tech (think modified Chevy Bolts). The Origin marks a new trajectory for the company since its a built-from-scratch AV model.

CNET’s Antuan Goodwin describes the Origin as “a safe, spacious and city-friendly autocab.” Though Cruise has yet to release performance specs for the model, we do know that it has an electric motor and battery pack beneath the passenger compartment. We also don’t know its range or maximum speed. But considering the model’s intended use as a low-speed public transit vehicle, it’s worth focusing on the Origin’s other qualities for now.

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More about the Origin

The Origin has sliding doors to prevent collisions with pedestrians or cycling when it stops to drop off and pick up passengers. Per CNET, each model can accommodate up to six passengers at most, or four passengers when the folding center armrests are in use. Photos reveal that the cabin incorporates durable plastics and types of vinyl for a minimalistic look that’s also easy to clean.

As you might expect, the Origin has a driver-less design inside, due to its AV tech. The cockpit lacks pedals, steering wheel, and a driver’s seat. It also incorporates Superhuman Sensing, a suite of sensors that rely on lidar and radar technology to detect, recognize, and track pedestrians and cyclists. The sensors also pick up important information about the vehicle’s surroundings to help it operate more accurately and safely.

Cruise intends the Origin for use in a future ride-hailing service. Per CNET, the company estimates that consumers can save as much as $5K a year by using AV cabs like Origin instead of a private vehicle.