2020 is barely underway and we’ve already seen a variety of electric vehicles from the likes of Tesla, Mercedes-Bens, and Fisker just to name a few. Now, Cruise, GM and Honda have announced their own electric autonomous vehicle called Origin.
According to a Medium blog post, the Cruise Origin will be powered by a GM built all-electric motor, it will be roughly half the price of current EV’s on the market, and it will be fully-autonomous. The idea behind Origin is to create a shareable, modular vehicle robust enough to survive being on the road 24/7.
“It’s self-driven. It’s all-electric. It’s shared. And it’s our answer to the question about what transportation system you’d build if you could start from scratch.” Cruise CEO Dan Amman said in the post.
— Cruise (@Cruise) January 22, 2020
As you can imagine with a fully-autonomous vehicle there is no steering wheel or pedals. Instead, you get three seats at each end of the vehicle with sliding doors that open up to reveal a luxurious interior. Unfortunately, a price for the Origin has not been announced, although according to Amman “the average San Franciscan household driving themselves or using ride-sharing, will, on average, see up to $5,000 (R71,800 ) back in their pocket every year.”
To test the vehicle and its safety measures, Cruise has been operating a ride-sharing service for their employees using fleets of its third-generation autonomous vehicles on roads in San Francisco. In 2019 the company managed to accumulate close to 1,609,344 km of useable data from the service which they used to develop and subsequently improve the Origin.
“We know that the only way we can create a radically different transportation system, and improve life in our cities, is if we can scale. And we know that this won’t happen unless we deliver on a very simple proposition: a better experience at a lower price than what you pay to get around today.” Amman said.
Image: Twitter/ @Cruise