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  • - Hey, it's Andy with The Verge, and we just got our

  • first exclusive look at the new

  • autonomous vehicle from Cruise, they call it the Origin.

  • It really didn't look like any car I've ever seen before

  • and that's really kind of the first impression you get

  • as soon as you approach this vehicle.

  • The outside of it has the same dimensions

  • as a normal crossover SUV,

  • but that's really kind of where the similarities end.

  • (bass music)

  • So when you wanna get in to the vehicle,

  • you first have to put in a code on its keypad,

  • that's on the door on the outside,

  • and it sort of opens as if, like,

  • it's a minivan that opens from both sides.

  • You get in and you have a very

  • spacious interior of the vehicle,

  • and that's obvious because there's no steering wheel,

  • there's no pedals, there's no gear shaft,

  • there's not even really a dashboard

  • or any infotainment system.

  • There's just two bench seats facing each other

  • and this sort of vast space in between them.

  • - It's designed to be comfortable if it's shared,

  • but if it's just you you got so much space in here,

  • you can really like, stretch out, and it's pretty great.

  • And so I think it's a good experience,

  • whether it's just you or a lot of other people.

  • - You can do yoga in here probably.

  • - Absolutely you can do yoga.

  • Well, as long as your seatbelt's on,

  • I don't know how that works.

  • - Now you may have heard of some

  • other self driving operators like Waymo,

  • which used to be part of Google,

  • and Argo which is backed by Ford and Volkswagen.

  • Cruise is tied very closely to GM, General Motors,

  • which is the largest auto manufacturer in the US.

  • Cruise has 160 self driving test vehicles

  • that are Chevy Volts, electric vehicles,

  • here in San Francisco,

  • where they hope to eventually launch a fully

  • driverless robo taxi service.

  • But more importantly, they've raised about seven billion

  • dollars in venture capital cash over the last

  • couple of years, which is really just like,

  • a staggering amount of money for a self driving car company.

  • Especially when you consider that they haven't even

  • scaled a commercial product yet.

  • Now about two point seven billion of that

  • is coming from the other big auto manufacturer

  • in Cruise's corner, and that's Honda.

  • This doesn't look like any other car in the road today,

  • and that's because Cruise says

  • it wants to move beyond the car,

  • arguing that many of the problems that we have today

  • could be traced to single occupancy vehicles.

  • - Well there's some things about

  • removing the driver, and the steering wheel, and the pedal,

  • that eliminates some complexity and cost in the vehicle.

  • But as you can see here, the way vehicles are designed,

  • normally they have a hood in the front where the engine is,

  • and some storage in the trunk.

  • But when you don't need all that stuff,

  • and you don't need things placed where they are,

  • we can have this enormous, spacious cabin

  • without taking up any more space on the road

  • than a regular car would, which is kind of insane.

  • It leads to a far greater experience for the rider,

  • but then because we built this car

  • around the idea of not having a driver,

  • and specifically being used in a ride share fleet,

  • that kind of business,

  • you know the vehicle is engineered to last a million miles,

  • and all the interior components are replaceable.

  • The compute is replaceable, the sensors are replaceable,

  • and what that does is it drives the cost per mile down

  • way low than you could ever reach.

  • - Now Cruise insists that this is not just a fancy concept,

  • which is a really important distinction to make.

  • Now we've seen dozens of radical car concepts

  • over the years that have re-imagined interiors

  • that look like fancy living rooms or bedrooms.

  • But none of those really have any chance

  • of hitting the road anytime soon, if ever.

  • Cruise says that this car is going into production.

  • But it's gonna be tough getting there.

  • Cruise needs a special exemption from the federal government

  • in order to mass produce vehicles without

  • traditional human controls like steering wheels and pedals.

  • And the federal government only grants about

  • 2,500 exemptions a year.

  • Now GM put in its request for an exemption

  • back in 2018, but it hasn't gotten it yet,

  • and it's unclear when exactly this car is going

  • to be approved to hit the road.

  • Now Cruise has hit some bumps in the road before.

  • Its plan to launch a robo taxi service in San Francisco

  • before the end of 2019 didn't really happen.

  • It said the technology wasn't really ready yet.

  • And Cruise has said it wanted to test its vehicles

  • in New York City, but that never really went anywhere.

  • Now I think it's safe to say that Cruise

  • is feeling the heat from its competitors

  • like Uber and Tesla, Waymo and Ford.

  • Now the Google self driving car project

  • recently started giving people rides in its

  • self driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans,

  • with no safety driver in the front seat,

  • which is a pretty enormous leap.

  • But the van still has steering wheels and pedals.

  • But removing the safety driver is a pretty dramatic

  • way of saying that this technology is here,

  • it's ready, and it works.

  • Cruise missed its chance to be the first to launch

  • a taxi service and it missed its chance

  • to be the first to take safety drivers

  • out of the front of the vehicle.

  • But with this car, it has the opportunity to be the first

  • to do something maybe even more radical,

  • that's change the conversation, move beyond the car,

  • and come up with an entirely different

  • way of getting around.

  • Now I know I said this wasn't a concept,

  • but if you'd like concepts,

  • check out the videos that we did at CES,

  • there's a lot of really crazy things that we saw this year,

  • check it out at YouTube.com/theverge.

- Hey, it's Andy with The Verge, and we just got our

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B1 cruise vehicle steering driving driver road

Exclusive look at Cruise’s first fully driverless car

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/29
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