Cruise--an AV company purchased by GM last year--is offering completely autonomous rides to its San Francisco-based employees. Currently, the service is offered only to them. The company has indicated “that some employees are already using it as their primary source of transportation, replacing either personal vehicle ownership, public transit or traditional ride-hailing services completely.” The company currently operates the Cruise Anywhere app, and is “having them use it for the first time [to] make AVs their primary form of transportation.” A Reuters poll from May suggests that Uber and Lyft are having the same effect of reducing car ownership.
These findings point towards a shared automobile future, and it is easy to see why AVs would further the trend, given their financial advantages. Lyft and Uber now pay their drivers about 60% of total fare revenue. And while a good portion of this 60% goes towards car upkeep (maintenance and fuel), it is easy to see why the companies would want to shed drivers–it would reduce expenses and increase profits.
In the case of Cruise beta testing cars, there are safety drivers behind the wheel, in accordance with current California law. But Cruise has indicated that “those drivers have had to take over manual control of vehicles engaged in Cruise Anywhere service only on a few occasions, with the vast majority of the driving done autonomously.”
This video shows employees using the service:
[This post was originally published on UrbanismNext]