Aug 22, 2023 - Business

A self-driving car company is expanding to Raleigh

A Cruise driverless robot taxi in San Francisco. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Cruise, an autonomous vehicle company, is testing its vehicles on the streets of Raleigh, the company told Axios on Tuesday.

Driving the news: The California-based company, which is backed by the auto giant General Motors, started its initial testing here this week.

  • Raleigh is the 10th city in the U.S. to serve as a testing site.
  • It already operates driverless taxis in San Francisco and Phoenix, and is similarly doing testing in places like Charlotte and Nashville.

What's happening: Cruise's autonomous, electric vehicles will all have drivers, a spokesperson for the company said.

  • The company declined an interview request about its Raleigh testing, but said its vehicles are collecting data while being driven by humans.
  • "This is an important first step in getting to know Raleigh's roadways and driving behaviors before we progress to any driverless testing," Anna Haase, a spokesperson for Cruise, said in an email.
  • It's not clear when unmanned autonomous Cruise cars could be on the streets, but its initial testing in Charlotte lasted around a week, according to WSOC.

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 reported.

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.

  • In response to the crashes, the California Department of Motor Vehicles asked Cruise to cut its vehicle fleet size in half as the department conducts an investigation.

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


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