When it comes to office perks, companies have long competed to outdo each other with the benefits they offer staff.
But this week, the bar may just have got a bit higher. Self-driving technology company Cruise has announced a new ride hailing app that will allow its San Francisco-based employees to travel round the city in the company’s driverless vehicles.
The programme, Cruise Anywhere, is currently in beta with the company’s employees as it works to develop the user experience for wider consumer use.
Cruise has more than 60 driverless vehicles, and can activate the rideshare service across its entire fleet if needed.
While only 10% of the firm’s employees currently use the programme, it has a waiting list that sees new employees being added each week.
One employee who has already clocked up 60 rides using the service is software engineer Eric Lujan. He uses Cruise Anywhere to travel to and from work during the week, as well as using the app to run errands or meet up with friends.
The app works in a similar way to any ridesharing app, says Cruise, matching passengers with a vehicle, and taking them anywhere within a mapped area covering most of San Francisco.
And while a standby driver is always in the vehicle, as required by California law, they don’t have to do much in the way of actual driving.
Cruise says that it may work with other companies to bring the technology to market and deliver its services on a wider scale.
“We see a future where we’re open to partnering with one network or partner, many partners, or even no partners if that’s the best way to release this technology and achieve the societal benefits of driverless cars sooner,” said Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt.