AUSTIN, Texas — If you're not a fan of chatty rideshare drivers, you may soon be in luck. Another self-driving rideshare service is primed to launch in Austin later this year.
Cruise LLC – a self-driving rideshare company backed by Honda and General Motors – plans to launch its services soon in both Austin and Phoenix, according to a Sept. 12 tweet from Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt.
"Our team is going from zero footprint in Austin (no test vehicles or maps) to driverless rides in ~90 days," Vogt said. "We’ve been prepping for scaling the last couple years, glad to see that work paying off."
This expansion comes a little over three months after Cruise announced it had received the first-ever driverless deployment permit from the California Public Utilities Commission to start offering paid rides in San Francisco.
The Austin Business Journal (ABJ) reports that while the expansion will be Cruise's first foray into Austin, the company has been operating a self-driving delivery service with Walmart for months and has made around 10,000 deliveries.
Cruise is not the first company to send self-driving cars out onto Austin's streets. Back in 2015, ABJ reports that Waymo was the first to test computer-driven vehicles in the Capital City.
Last year, Ford, Lyft and Argo AI announced a partnership to bring a fleet of self-driving vehicles to Austin. The group now has about 20 self-driving cars on Austin streets, but right now, it still has a testing specialist in each car's driver's seat. Learn more.
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