Aug 30, 2023 - News

Robotaxis are coming to Nashville

A Cruise autonomous taxi in San Francisco, California, US, on Thursday Aug. 10, 2023. California regulators are poised to decide whether two rival robotaxi services can provide around-the-clock rides throughout San Francisco

A Cruise autonomous taxi in San Francisco earlier this month. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Cruise, an autonomous vehicle company, has tapped Nashville as one of its next cities for its robotaxi service.

Driving the news: General Motors-owned Cruise has hit the accelerator, announcing testing in 14 cities, including Seattle, San Diego, Miami, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

  • It already operates driverless taxis in San Francisco, Phoenix and Austin, and will launch next in Dallas and Houston.

The latest: Cruise CEO and co-founder Kyle Vogt announced last month the company would have robotaxis here in the coming months. A company spokesperson said testing in Nashville, which began a few weeks ago, has already concluded.

  • "Each time we add a new city, the performance in our current cities keeps getting better," Vogt said. "We've got a playbook running now. Scout a city, augment our datasets, retrain, validate, and go. Once we're up and running, the data keeps streaming in."

State of play: Autonomous vehicle technology has been pitched as a game changer for transportation for the past decade — but so far, its testing has been mainly limited to the West Coast.

  • Cruise is one of the few self-driving car companies expanding in the space, after many investors and automakers have scaled back their ambitions, Axios' Joann Muller reports.

How it works: Cruise's autonomous electric vehicles have drivers during the testing phase, a spokesperson for the company said.

Zoom out: Cruise has recently hit some stumbling blocks in its hometown of San Francisco after two of its cars crashed and another got stuck in wet cement, Axios San Francisco's Megan Rose Dickey writes.

Go deeper: Cruise and Waymo push robotaxis amid doubts about self-driving tech

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