GM/Cruise releases a plan for a future custom designed robotaxi -- and it reminds me of Zoox


Recently, Cruise, the unit of GM (and partner of Honda) did a splash release of a new vehicle design which they say is "not a concept." It's a custom-designed robotaxi, and it reminds me a lot of the plan of Zoox, the $billion funded startup that I advised when it was just getting going.

I've written an article about the risks and benefits of making your own custom vehicle, and whether it's smart or crazy. You can find that at:

Cruise's new robotaxi presages a battle with Zoox on


I'm guessing their initial target is going to be more like a bus service in terms of routes. Better than a bus in having fewer passengers (and thus fewer stops), and more precise pickup/dropoff locations. But probably not door to door like a taxi service, at least not unless your start and end point are both within their geofence, which I guess will occur in urban areas.

In some limited areas they can probably get something up and running fairly quickly compared to the challenge of building a robotaxi (and it looks like they are, in San Francisco). Can't handle unprotected left turns very well? Route around them. Can't handle many parking lots? Don't allow pickup/dropoff there.

I wonder how they're doing testing. Could have someone with a laptop plugged in and able to "make strategic decisions," as Waymo calls it.

Do they even call it a taxi?

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