Cruise Robotaxis Enter Miami (Just As Messi Does)

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GM’s robotaxi firm Cruise is slowly expanding, and its next market appears to be Miami. Just as magical Lionel Messi started his new era of soccer in The Magic City, magical Cruise robotaxis started testing on its roads.

That’s all the news we have — “We’re excited to start initial testing and data collection in your vibrant city tomorrow! Phase 1 is to familiarize our fleet with additional, diverse road conditions while collecting data.”

Aside from the fun combination of Miami and robotaxis, what is interesting about the news is simply how fast Cruise has been expanding of late. The company expanded its robotaxi services in San Francisco a great deal toward the end of last year (November 2022), then started service in the city of Austin (Texas) in December (I snapped pictures of Cruise vehicles there in November as they were preparing for commercial service), and then it entered Houston and Dallas just a couple of months ago in May. Now, it’s already moving into a new city — Miami.

Cruise electric robotaxi in Austin, Texas.

Was the move rushed to line up with Lionel Messi’s first games playing for Inter Miami? There’s a +90% chance it wasn’t, but who knows?

It’s not clear how long it will be until Cruise is actually offering robotaxis in Miami, as there are different stages of testing to go through — with a human safety driver riding along and then without one but without any passengers. But once the company has made an announcement about testing in the city, one has to expect commercial robotaxi service there before too long. If the company has enough of a marketing budget, perhaps it can get Messi to go on one of the first rides.

Cruise Origin autonomous shuttle
Image courtesy of Cruise

As a Floridian, I hope that Cruise launches robotaxi service in Miami with its Origin electric vehicle. This vehicle was designed for flexible, spacious, friendly robotaxi service, and it’s just more appealing than the Chevy Bolt as a robotaxi vehicle. “In March, Cruise’s current CEO Kyle Vogt said the company would begin testing its Origins on the streets in Austin within the coming weeks. While human-operated prototypes of the Origin have been manually collecting data used for AV perception system testing and validation, Cruise has not yet begun driverless tests in Austin. A spokesperson told TechCrunch Cruise would begin those tests ‘soon.'”

Featured image courtesy of Cruise

Related story: 5 Weird Places Robotaxis Are Driving In San Francisco

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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