GM Subsidiary Launches Autonomous Ride-Hailing Service In San Francisco

General Motors has launched its own autonomous ride-hailing service.

Dubbed Cruise Anywhere, the service was launched by GM subsidiary Cruise Automation and it allows the company’s employees to get a ride in San Francisco.

The service is currently in beta testing but the results have been extremely positive as some employees are now using the service as their primary means of transportation.

As Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt explained to Tech Crunch, “We’re really excited about how the technology is evolving, and the rate at which it’s evolving. This is a manifestation of that – putting the app in people’s hands and having them use it for the first time and make AVs [autonomous vehicles] their primary form of transportation.”

While the service is still being testing, employees can request a vehicle anywhere in San Francisco that has already been mapped by the company. The app will then send an autonomous Chevrolet Bolt to their location and transport them to their destination.

Since regulations haven’t kept pace with technology, the service still requires the use of a safety driver. However, Cruise contends the safety drivers have only had to intervene on a few occasions and most trips are done autonomously.

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  • Jay

    What would an autonomous vehicle do if it were surrounded by a group of pedestrians?

    • Status

      Stop and wait for a clear path.

      • Jay

        If you were inside you’d just be sitting until they decided to move. If it were done on purpose then the group would have easily and successfully fooled the autonomous system.

        • RGB123

          And what would a human driver do differently in that situation?

          • Jay

            depends on the human some may slowly move the car forward expecting the people to spread apart. Others would just run them over willingly. They don’t want to get run over… people should try thinking outside of the box more often..

          • Status

            And you think running over people is an acceptable answer in a non-autonomous car? Even nudging them is an assault charge in the waiting. Furthermore, people shouldn’t be playing in the road or obstructing traffic anyway, autonomous or not.

            If you think the autonomous engineers haven’t considered that situation, you’re not keeping up with the state of the technology.

          • Jay

            where did I say it was acceptable to nudge or run them over. Moving the car has no harm. If they decide not to move out of the way then the outcome is purely on them. Since you know what the engineers have considered why don’t you elaborate.

          • Status

            I don’t have to. I also don’t have to postulate a situational consideration for the autonomous car and pretend that it was somehow grossly overlooked or something so obvious, so plainly visible, that an autonomous vehicle software engineer never had the foresight.

            What I’m saying is that the engineers have the foresight, and are well aware of the risks and complications involved. Virtually nobody in the public sphere is going to impart some nugget of wisdom or unforeseen circumstance that they feel will manifest into the killing blow to all autonomous technology. The only people who are going to inform their actions and considerations during autonomous car development will be other engineers.

            The public can poo-poo autonomous cars and think up all kinds of fanciful and (often) unrealistic situations. They’re very, very, likely aware of all such eventualities, and how there will also be exceptions. The last thing they need is over-inflated alarmists and reactionaries who think of computers as being big beige boxes that browse for porn.

          • Jay

            All of that to say you do not know? Interesting.

          • Status

            The short answer is “humans have no business driving”. If you can’t see it, then you have the most to lose when it happens.

          • Jay

            So correct me if I’m wrong. You think humans are only good enough to build computers/robots, So in turn they can do everything for humans?

            If you think humans can’t drive correctly when what makes you think we’re any better at building a computer that will funtion with out severe and deadly faults?

          • Status

            Google ‘machine learning’. When the computers figure it out, they’ll take it from there.

            For all the computers I’ve built, they’ve never killed anyone. In fact, each successive generation is easier, more faultless, and more reliable. ‘Deadly faults’ is exactly the kind of alarmist behaviour that I was talking about, and for someone who is closely following the consumer electronic market like you, I would think that kind of behaviour would be beneath you.

          • Jay

            You’re still missing the point. No matter how much better a computer will get bad things will still happen. Will there be far less sure, but if people learned to drive better there will also be less. There are people who are great drivers and other who love to drive and don’t deserve to have there rights taken just because people like you think humans shouldn’t be driving.

  • WHAT A DREARY JOB JUST SITTING ALL DAY.

  • Michael DeKort

    Lockheed Engineer/Whistleblower

    Autonomous Levels 4 and 5 will never be reached without Simulation vs Public Shadow Driving for AI. Level 2+and L3 should not be used at all.

    Public Shadow Driving is Dangerous. Thousands of accidents, injuries and casualties will occur when these companies move from benign and easy scenarios to complex, dangerous and accident scenarios. And the cost in time and funding is untenable. One trillion public shadow driving miles would need to be driven at a cost of over $300B.

    Details in my LinkedIn article here

    Autonomous Levels 4 and 5 will never be reached without Simulation vs Public Shadow Driving for AI

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/autonomous-levels-4-5-never-reached-without-michael-dekort

  • Michael DeKort

    Lockheed Engineer/Whistleblower

    Autonomous Levels 4 and 5 will never be reached without Simulation vs Public Shadow Driving for AI. Level 2+and L3 should not be used at all.

    Public Shadow Driving is Dangerous. Thousands of accidents, injuries and casualties will occur when these companies move from benign and easy scenarios to complex, dangerous and accident scenarios. And the cost in time and funding is untenable. One trillion public shadow driving miles would need to be driven at a cost of over $300B.

    For details please search for my LinkedIn article

    Autonomous Levels 4 and 5 will never be reached without Simulation vs Public Shadow Driving for AI

    • Status

      So what exactly are you doing at Lockheed that’s even remotely related to autonomous engineering? If you’re a structural engineer or an aeronautics engineer, you’re not in a position to inform others (public or professional) of the finer technical details of back-end software engineers.

      You can give yourself whatever title you want for your organization, but your organization doesn’t appear to be interested (or even connected) to any form of autonomous driving technology even in the slightest.

      • Michael DeKort

        My background is on LinkedIn. But I will answer the question and in more detail..
        First the vast majority of engineers in this space have virtually zero domain experience. They literally come from Twitter, Uber, AirBnB, PayPal, Google Search etc. If it were not for AI these cars would not be moving. And even with AI they struggle with the most basic things.

        The parts of my background that relate are working in aerospace simulation primarily (But also C4ISR). That being manned sims to an FAA Level D and simulation environments. Both of which are far more capable that what is in the AV space. That affords an understanding of actual real-time design, systems engineering for complex systems, sensors and sensor fusion and exception handling. I spent a long time in both worlds. It is not an exaggeration to say it is basically night and day in these areas. It’s not a matter of intelligence, effort or hard work but of exposure. These kinds of things simply rarely happen in Commercial IT and when they do they are nowhere near as large or complex. What this affords me is the knowledge to tell folks that public shadow driving can be replaced by this level of simulation.

        Additionally if that switch doesn’t happen the industry will never get to L4 or L5 because there will be too many deaths and no one can drive one trillion miles or spend over $300B getting there even if the public can be convinced thousands of accidents, injuries and deaths are a necessary evil.

        (There are also several other areas. That the sensor fusion I see being done is being done with way to much use of LIDAR and cameras as well as redundancy and priority/probability filtering issues, and that V2X needs to be 120hz not 10hz. Do the math on two cars closing on each other at 75mph with no median. To communicate in critical situations you need a 60hz update rate. Now assume the first transmission is bad and you have to transmit again. Now we are at 120hz).

        Please take the time to read this article I wrote. It explains all of the issues and resolutions in detail. It is the text I am sending lawmakers etc. I am a believer in this tech and want it to be successful. Unfortunately that is impossible using public shadow driving, poor sensor choices, fusion and redundancy and a slow V2X update rate.

        For more details please search on my LinkedIn article
        Letter to Congress – Handling of minimum standards for Autonomous industry

        (I also have a history of doing my homework and getting the big things right – Please search on my name and “Comey” in news.There was more to it than this. There were issues with classified communications as well as fielding crucial navigation systems that would not survive bad weather. This occurred after my time in simulation.)

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