Jul 17, 2017

GM's self-driving unit is launching ride-hail app next week

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Cruise, the self-driving car startup acquired by General Motors last year for nearly $1 billion, next week will launch an app for its employees to hail rides from one of its vehicles in San Francisco, CEO Kyle Vogt said on Monday at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen. The cars will still have human back-up drivers.

Cruise currently has vehicles being tested on the roads of San Francisco, Phoenix, and Detroit, and is adding 100 more cars next week, according to Vogt. It began to quietly test the app over six months ago, letting employees get a ride to the office only.

Just the beginning: Silicon Valley consensus is that urban road transportation will eventually be dominated by autonomous vehicles summoned by ride-hail apps (like Uber and Lyft, just without the drivers). Alphabet's self-driving car unit has also made available a ride-hailing app to customers in Arizona to test how they use such self-driving rides.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 5,589,626 — Total deaths: 350,453 — Total recoveries — 2,286,956Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 1,680,913 — Total deaths: 98,913 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
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Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

There are no COVID-19 patients in hospital in New Zealand, which reported just 21 active cases after days of zero new infections. A top NZ health official said Tuesday he's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission."

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.9 million tests).

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Coronavirus antibody tests are still relatively unreliable, and it's unclear if people who get the virus are immune to getting it again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned on Tuesday.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.