Fifty years ago, cars looked like, in a word, cars. These cars were driven by human operators and came stuffed with a whole lot of equipment for that human operator to use: a steering wheel, pedals, knobs, and dials. And, of course, a fossil fuel-burning engine up front and a gas tank in the rear. Enter the Cruise Origin an autonomous vehicle with a goal of changing the transportation world as we know it.
From an article in Medium by Dan Ammann.
Over the last five decades, we’ve achieved unprecedented technological advancement in everything from computers to medicine. But the automobile? It looks pretty much the same.
All that stuff from the old-school car has stayed put — the steering wheel, the controls, the gas tank — leaving precious little room for each passenger.
Fifty years, and all we’ve gotten is one incremental change after another. We’re still cramped in a tiny space. We’re still burning fossil fuels, polluting our cities and destroying our planet. We’re still spending hours out of our day stuck in traffic, inventing new swear words. We’re still dying at a rate of more than 3,000 people per day.
Today’s cars sit parked 95 percent of the time, racking up expensive parking fees while depreciating in value. They need a driver. They break down relatively easily. And if they make it 150,000 miles, well, lucky you.
The Cruise Origin, on the other hand, will spend most of its life in motion, working 10 times harder than your average car, day in and day out. It’s engineered to include everything you need and nothing you don’t. It doesn’t require a driver, of course. Because it’s modular, it will have a lifespan of over 1 million miles — six times more than the average car. And since GM has committed to producing millions of electric vehicles, we’ll build it for roughly half the cost of what a conventional electric SUV costs today.
All told, the average San Franciscan household driving themselves or using ridesharing, will, on average, see up to $5,000 back in their pocket every year.
At the same time, we’ll have fewer cars clogging our roads, fewer cars piled up in our parking lots, and fewer cars going to the scrap heap.
Origin means beginning. Or in this case, a new beginning for transportation — one with no more tradeoffs.
What’s good for you is good for the world.
To read more about the Cruise Origin, click here.
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