Cities May Gain New Driverless Option with Cruise’s Origin Vehicle
Several new vertical markets have been reshaping the personal transportation industry. It’s already part of our culture to download the Uber or Lyft app to hail aride, instead of an old-fashioned taxicab.
A story on spectrum.ieee.org written by Tekla S.Perry introduces a new vehicle that might be a competitor to the kind of standard transportation vehicles Uber has invested in. The Origin has a jellybean shape and will operate like an on-call bus. At a launch event hosted by Cruise, executives pitched the Origin service as a replacement for driving or parking in a city.
The six-passenger, autonomous, electric, SUV-sized vehicle is intended to disrupt urban transportation with fleets operating as a ride-sharing service. Screens inside will give information about upcoming pick-ups and drop-offs.
Perry noted that, “Since the Origin won’t be sold, the company isn’t talking about pricing.”
Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said designers worked to make the autonomous vehicle as inexpensive as possible to manufacture—production costs will be about half of those required to make today’s all-electric SUVs. The designers started with a new, all-electric platform, made all the sensor and computer systems modular for easy replacement and upgrading, and took out everything driver-related, including rearview mirrors, windshield wipers and the steering wheel.
Another vehicle for individuals, called the Canoo, also has a long, boat-like shape and is intended to be an all-electric replacement for traditional SUVs. It is also being designed to be updated as a driverless car.
While Waymo is making great strides in its driverless cars, as well as Tesla, the Origin differs greatly from their concepts, but it won’t be available soon. Government approvals are still needed for operating the driverless service.
read more about the Canoo at fastcompany.com
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