If the car had never been invented, how would we design a new system of transportation? We might start by removing drivers, who are often tired, distracted and in a rush. We’d ensure it was powered by energy that was good for the planet. And we’d transform an experience that is often dangerous and frustrating into one that is safe, convenient and even fun.
The Cruise Origin is GM’s answer to this imaginative thinking. It brings together GM’s four aspirations for the future of mobility: a vehicle that is shared, autonomous, electric and connected. The result is not a car you buy, but an experience you share. It’s a new form of transportation that is:
- Spacious. Since we’ve removed the driver, we can also remove the equipment that’s there to support a driver, including the steering wheel, pedals, rearview mirrors and windshield wipers. We’ve also taken out the internal combustion engine and gas tank. In their place, we have more space for passengers. Every seat has extra legroom, and the entry is three times larger than that of an average car — wide enough for one person to step in while another steps out. Doors slide open rather than hinging outward, so bikers are safer on the road.
- Modular. When today’s cars leave the factory, they are essentially stuck with the hardware and software they have on board. Because the Cruise Origin will operate in a fleet, we can make upgrades as needed — much in the way aircraft are maintained and repaired. We’ll pass savings on to our customers while reducing waste. This capability will allow each Origin AV to have a useful life of more than 1 million miles, more than six times that of an average passenger car.
- Safe. To ensure reliability, the vehicle has built-in redundancy to eliminate single points of failure across sensing, computing, networking and power. With no backup human driver, Origin uses purpose-built sensors and computers to deliver exceptional performance at an extremely low cost. It will be equipped with software that Cruise AVs have been testing and refining for years on the streets of San Francisco.
Origin is the result of a collaboration between Cruise, the self-driving company majority-owned by GM, and Honda. Cruise focused on the self-driving technology itself, as well as the service’s customer-facing design. GM has been focused on Origin’s flexible all-electric platform, as well as manufacturing scale. And Honda, a Cruise investor and engineering partner, is helping to come up with creative solutions to address customer pain points. The result is a transportation solution unlike any other. Once we clear the final hurdles to operate AVs that are safer than a human driver, Cruise will be ready to introduce Origin to the world.