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GM Cruise to Test Driverless AVs in San Francisco

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General Motors Cruise AV Interior
Photo: General Motors

Autonomous vehicle technology just gained a small victory on the Pacific Coast. The California Department of Motor Vehicles gave GM Cruise the green light to test autonomous vehicles on San Francisco roads without a safety driver.

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San Francisco embraces AVs

Currently, 60 companies have the state’s permission to perform AV tests on public roads, as long as a safety driver is on board, as Bloomberg’s Ed Ludlow confirms. GM Cruise is just one of five companies the state is allowing to do AV testing without this safety measure in place.

Granted, it would be a bit easier for GM Cruise to test its driverless AVs in the suburbs and rural areas. But Cruise CEO Dan Ammann views the Golden Gate City as a more realistic setting to refine AV technology, considering that major cities are hot spots for pollution, as well as traffic-related congestion and accidents. “Safely removing the driver is the true benchmark of a self-driving car,” said Ammann.

Cruise intends to have its AVs on San Francisco streets before the end of 2020. And considering the unprecedented challenges that this year brought on a global level, it’s definitely a milestone worth emphasizing. “I’m going to celebrate this one moment — this small but significant step on our own mission to the moon,” said Amman.

The company’s initiative in San Francisco will contribute to the industry’s overall effort to make future transportation methods greener, both this year and in the years to come. Learn more about how Cruise Automation’s parent company is reducing emissions in its products and production facilities. Then read up on GM’s Ultra Cruise, a semi-autonomous system that it hopes to integrate on its lineup to make city street driving safer and less stressful.

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