Cruise is hitting the road.
The General Motors-owned autonomous ride hailing service has announced that it will be launching in Phoenix and Austin, Texas this fall.
Cruise began charging for rides in its fully driverless vehicles in San Francisco this year, but only during overnight hours to reduce the chance for accidents as it continues to develop the system.
The software for the fleet of 80 vehicles was updated in early September as a result of an accident that happened in June.
A Cruise vehicle with passengers on board was struck at an intersection by an oncoming vehicle speeding in the wrong lane that was deemed at fault, but the lessons learned from the incident led to programming changes to better deal with that type of situation.
Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said the Phoenix and Austin operations will be up and running within 90 days with small “revenue-generating” fleets that will be scaled up over the course of the year.
The company already runs an autonomous delivery pilot program with Walmart in Phoenix.
Vogt said there are “some rough spots we’ve got to keep working on” but that the AV technology itself was “no longer the main bottleneck.”
Cruise’s vehicles are “geo-fenced” within a defined operational area that has been mapped in detail, and its vehicles are remotely monitored for issues by human employees.
On a number of occasions this year, network issues caused several Cruise vehicles to pull over in failsafe and block streets until the issue could be resolved.
No accidents or injuries were caused by any of the incidents.
GM CEO Mary Barra told The Claman Countdown in August “I think it’s going to be a big part of how we move from point A to point B going forward, because, you know, it’s safer.
“When you look at the information on how many people lose their lives [in car accidents], 90% of them are caused by human error.”
Fox Business’ Aislinn Murphy and Reuters contributed to this report