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14 Mar, 2023
1 min time to read

During his SXSW presentation, CEO Kyle Vogt announced that Cruise, the autonomous vehicle division of GM, will be introducing their custom-designed Origin robotaxi to the streets of Austin within the next few weeks.

The Cruise Origin, a shuttle-like vehicle designed for ridesharing service, was unveiled in January 2020 as the result of a collaboration between Cruise, parent company GM, and investor Honda. The first Origin vehicles are being produced at GM's Factory Zero in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan, and are currently being tested on public roads in Austin. Although the public won't have access to the Origin vehicles right away, Cruise plans to make them available to customers in a matter of months.

Cruise announced plans in September to launch commercial robotaxi services in Austin and Phoenix by the end of 2022, using Chevy Bolt vehicles. These services began with employees and "friends and family" at the end of last year, but Cruise did not disclose the size of its fleet. With about 300 vehicles in its global fleet, most of which are located in San Francisco and dozens in Austin, the commercial services are expected to open to the public later this year.

The Cruise Origin is designed to travel at highway speeds and has no steering wheel or pedals. The interior is spacious, with seats that face each other, resembling those found on some trains. The vehicle is branded with Cruise's trademark orange and black colors.