Cruise plans to expand driverless service: Lower prices key to boost demand
Cruise plans to expand its driverless ride service to Austin and Phoenix before the end of the year, company chief executive Kyle Vogt said last week.
The San Francisco, Calif.-based self-driving car company is a largely autonomous subsidiary of General Motors. Founded in 2013 by Kyle Vogt and Dan Kan, Cruise tests and develops self-driving car technology.
Tasha Keeney, director of investment analysis and institutional strategies at ARK invest, described her recent ride in one of Cruise’s fully self-driving vehicles in ARK’s September 19 newsletter.
“Last week in San Francisco, I took a ride in one of Cruise’s fully self-driving vehicles with no one behind the wheel or in the passenger seat. The ride was smooth, albeit slow, with only one braking event unexpected when the car responded to motorcyclists weaving through traffic.Currently only available during nighttime hours in limited areas of San Francisco, the service should become more convenient “soon” once Cruise expands its hours and area service,” Keeney said.
Keeney said enabling this expansion is perhaps a move away from high-definition (HD) maps, which are extremely detailed 3D visualizations created by systems of lasers called LiDAR used as “ground truth” to compare road conditions in time. real.
“Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt now thinks cards are becoming ‘an advantage over a need’.” This finding lends some validity to Tesla’s approach, which never relied on HD mapping,” Keeney wrote. “HD maps likely add additional complexity and cost, so Cruise’s migration away from this technique may be one of the reasons it is able to expand to Austin and Phoenix, where it is not has no prints, within the next 90 days.”
Keeney said Cruise’s open commitment to two new cities is significant, especially given the company’s relatively cautious public relations strategy to date.
“Key to Cruise’s success will be its ability to scale its robotaxi service in such a way that vehicle utilization rates increase, which will allow prices to drop significantly below those of transport companies by man,” Keeney said. “Today, Cruise charges its service slightly below that of Uber. ARK believes lower mileage prices will be key to driving demand for robotaxi services.”
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