GM’s Cruise Bringing Self-Driving Robotaxis to Nashville


Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said the company will expand its robotaxi service to Nashville, TN. The launch of the driverless service in the city is part of the GM subsidiary’s efforts to accelerate its commercial operations.

Cruise’s self-driving cars are expected to arrive on Nashville streets soon, with the company’s robotaxi service launching later. Cruise does not seem to be focused on Nashville alone, as the company also disclosed plans to initiate testing in multiple new cities. Based on Cruise’s posts on its Careers page, Atlanta would appear to be one of the next cities.

A year ago, Cruise was limited to operating only in San Francisco. Since then, the company has expanded its services to Austin, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and, most recently, Miami, as noted in a TechCrunch report. But while Cruise has ventured into these markets, it has yet to commence full commercial operations in all of them.

Cruise has established a rollout strategy, which involves deploying test vehicles in a new market, gradually removing human safety operators to achieve fully autonomous driving, and offering ride-hailing services to employees and pre-registered customers. Once these are accomplished, the service and its hours of operation are expanded.

Vogt said Cruise’s capability to scale its operations is thanks in no small part to its city-first strategy, which begins with generalized tech that is then tweaked to fit specific scenarios. With such scenarios in place, each new city the service is deployed to will likely involve less work than the last.

“What we had to do was find the areas where our AV system didn’t generalize well and fix it. In some cases, it was as simple as retraining our ML models using data from the new city. In some cases, we found we had to redesign parts of a system,” Vogt said.

We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

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