GM is sharing more info about its testing process for autonomous cars through Cruise, the startup it acquired last year.
For the first time, Cruise has shared some numbers related to the advantages it says its program has by placing emphasis on city testing, vs. testing only in less densely occupied areas.
“Cruise does the majority of its testing, or at least a significant portion of it, in San Francisco, and in particular the most dense part of San Francisco,” explained Cruise CEO and founder Kyle Vogt on a call related to the news.
“The big thing that we want to point out today, is that driving in San Francisco is almost nothing like driving in the suburbs or other places where self-driving cars are tested,” Vogt explained. “There’s a lot of talk about miles, but really miles are not created equally.”
Vogt’s reference to talk of “miles” is almost certainly an indirect jibe at Alphabet’s Waymo, which frequently reminds the public that it has the most miles of autonomous vehicle testing to its credit among companies working on the problem. Also, Vogt followed up quickly with another veiled reference to Waymo’s testing program, which is running a trial ride hailing service in Arizona.
“In more suburban areas like Scottsdale, which is a suburb of Phoenix, we actually have data so we can compare the two,” Vogt said. Hey added that in the city (of SF specifically), tricky maneuvers like passing vehicles by crossing over into opposing lane of traffic actually happen quite frequently, as opposed to in suburbs.
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