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GM delays automated taxi service

By
Nicholas Sakelaris

July 24 (UPI) -- General Motors will delay the deployment of its autonomous vehicle fleet, the company announced Wednesday.

GM's Cruise Automation planned to deploy the automated taxis in various cities, including San Francisco, this year but now there's no timeline. The autonomous vehicles use modified Chevrolet Bolt EVs.

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Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said the Cruise needs more test miles before it can be deployed.

"Anytime that you're working on something that's never been done before, it's not surprising if timelines move around," Ammann told Wired. "If we do it right from the outset, that's what will allow us to scale it up rapidly."

The goal is to have a service that anyone can use to summon a driverless taxi to take them around town.

In 2018, the Cruise had the second-lowest disengagement rate of any self-driving vehicle, meaning human operators had to take control once every 5,205 miles.

Cruise has raised $7.25 billion with Softbank and Honda being major investors. The company has 1,500 employees. GM acquired Cruise Automation in March 2016.

Competitors in the automated taxi space include Waymo, Argo and Uber.

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