Cruise made news last month with the debut of its new Origin people mover. The technology-driven vehicle company, of which General Motors has a controlling interest through its wholly-owned General Motors Holdings LLC subsidiary, has hit another milestone this month, receiving a permit to test its electric self-driving cars on public roads. The news was first reported by Automotive News.
The Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Permit, issued by the State of California, allows Cruise to test its vehicles while carrying passengers as long as a safety driver is present. According to its application for exemption, which was grated, Cruise utilizes a third-party to operate Cruise vehicles and conduct testing.
Cruise vehicle’s are currently testing on San Francisco’s streets.Photo courtesy of Cruise LLC
While conducting testing, in accordance with the permit’s requirements in San Francisco, Cruise cannot charge for any rides nor display top lights or taxi meters. This means that while the vehicles can act in a ride-hailing capacity, they cannot collect any monies from the service.
Vehicles must also comply with all traditional traffic laws and regulations. They are not allowed to operate at airports unless otherwise authorized by an airport authority. Round-trip sightseeing tour service is authorized.
Moving toward passenger service is the natural next step for Cruise, which has been testing self-driving vehicles without passengers for years.
Cruise joins a growing list of companies that have received permits for testing including Zoox, AutoX, Pony.ai, Waymo, and Aurora Innovation. Only Cruise, Pony.ai, and Waymo have received the exemption.
Cruise’s permit expires on February 19, 2023. It can be renewed in three-year increments with a written application no less than 90 days before it is set to expire.