Cruise Automation unveils ‘mass-producible’ driverless car

Cruise Automation, the self-driving technology company, has unveiled what it says is the world’s first ‘mass-producible’ driverless car.

A driverless vehicle can’t rely on a human as a backup system.
— Cruise CEO and founder Kyle Vogt

As the company focuses on deploying self-driving cars at scale, the most critical requirement in being able to do so will be the ability to manufacture the cars that run its self-driving software, said Cruise CEO and founder Kyle Vogt in a blog post.

“The car we’re unveiling today is actually our 3rd generation self-driving car, but it’s the first that meets the redundancy and safety requirements we believe are necessary to operate without a driver,” said Vogt. “There’s no other car like this in existence.”

Cruise’s driverless vehicle is designed to be produced at the Lake Orion, Michigan assembly plant of parent company General Motors. GM acquired the firm last year, after Cruise had created its first generation test vehicles by retrofitting its self-driving systems onto the Chevrolet Bolt EV platform.

Image courtesy of Cruise Automation

Image courtesy of Cruise Automation

The vehicle has been designed to be fully driverless, and features multiple backup systems, according to Cruise.

“If something on a vehicle fails while there is an attentive human in the driver’s seat, they can yank the wheel or stomp on the brake pedal to avoid an incident,” said Vogt.

“This isn’t the case for a car with no driver, so we built backup systems. And in some cases we built backups for the backups — and backups for those systems, too.”