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Cruise เริ่มทดสอบรถยนต์ไร้คนขับในซานฟรานซิสโก

Cruise’s self-driving cars have been testing on San Francisco streets for years, but always with a safety driver up front. On Wednesday, the General Motors-backed company announced it had started sending out its autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs with no one in the vehicle.

Back in October, Cruise received a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to drive up to five of its sensor-loaded vehicles without a backup driver at the wheel. This month it sent out one car at night in San Francisco’s rather sleepy Sunset District on the far west side of the city next to the Pacific Ocean.

In a video released Wednesday, Cruise showed off its first fully driverless test on an empty SF street at night. A backup driver is still in the passenger seat, however.

In a media call, Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said to expect more “tangible” progress for its self-driving cars in 2021, but he wouldn’t give an update on when a Cruise driverless taxi service would be available to the public. That app-based service was supposed to launch by the end of 2019, but still hasn’t happened. Instead, Cruise has been testing its fleet of 300 cars in San Francisco and Michigan since 2015.

In January, Cruise introduced its driverless ride-sharing prototype, the Origin. The taxi, with room for six passengers, doesn’t have a steering wheel. The electric car will be built in GM’s new factory in Detroit, Michigan.

Eventually, Cruise’s driverless cars, which currently exist as those modified Chevy Bolts, will test at more times of day and night and in more neighborhoods. For now, it’s taking it slow. “We’re moving very methodically,” Ammann said.

Cruise isn’t the first company to receive a permit for fully self-driving cars, but it is the first to put them to the test in San Francisco, which Ammann called “one of the craziest driving environments.”

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