GM firm set to expand driverless robotaxis in Arizona, Texas, after California debut

Robotaxi services in Texas and Arizona expected well ahead of the year-end.

The age of robotaxis seem to have dawned much earlier than expected. Leading the race in the fresh domain of commute has been General Motors. The American automotive giant had recently rolled out its new age robotaxi service in California. And now, the company is extending it further by bringing the service to new markets such as Arizona and Texas.

It is expected that General Motors will roll out its robotaxi services in Texas and Arizona well ahead of the year-end. It may be recalled that General Motors had taken over a San Francisco-based start-up company named Cruise six years ago. Cruise, now a GM firm, has announced at an investor conference that its autonomous ride-hailing service will expand to newer terrain.

Robotaxis sans safety driver aid

Cruise representatives have been quoted saying that the autonomous ride-hailing service that had come to the midst of San Francisco passengers in June, will soon make it Phoenix and Austin, Texas, and that it is expected to debut in the next 90-day period.

The robotaxis are made in such a way that they are capable of transporting passengers without the help of a safety driver in them. The GM company has proved that it can go ahead with this service when it began operating in San Francisco during the night hours.

The service has already mitigated concerns over the absence of a safety driver, which had stemmed from fears that the absence of a safety driver could lead to trouble in case the robotic technology malfunctions in between.

The concerns that remain are for real, as Cruise had, in a regulatory disclosure this month, revealed that it had to recall as many as 80 of its driverless cars owing to a software update.

Concerns over driverless cars remain

This had to be done after one of the cars was involved in an accident, though only minor injuries were sustained. So when the service expands to Arizona and Texas, commuters would hope to see all glitches addressed and rides perfected.

As the ride-hailing service enters makes its debut in Phoenix, Cruise will have to rival another robotaxi service from Waymo, which incidentally, is a Google spin-off.

Waymo has been in the business at Phoenix already, and is also testing its robotaxi service in San Francisco. The service has not yet been allowed by authorities to charge passengers for the service. Cruise has been allowed to charge passengers in California.

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