REUTERS: The chief executive of autonomous vehicle company Cruise signaled in a blog post on Wednesday that the General Motors Co subsidiary is shifting its focus to shared rides "at a radically lower cost."
Dan Ammann, the former president of GM and now the CEO of Cruise, wrote in the blog post that to “make order-of-magnitude — rather than incremental — improvements in transportation, we need to build alternatives that are superior to the status quo in every way.”
Cruise’s mission, he said, is to “reduce congestion through making shared rides more compelling by providing an awesome experience at a radically lower cost.” Only then, “will we truly move beyond the car to the transportation system that we deserve.”
Cruise previously announced a partnership with Honda Motor Co to develop a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for use in ride-sharing. Honda is a minority investor in Cruise.
Ammann did not elaborate on Cruise’s plans in his post. Earlier this year, Ammann scrapped a goal of launching a Cruise robo-taxi service by the end of 2019.
GM rival Ford Motor Co and its development partner Argo AI are planning to launch self-driving vehicles in commercial ride-sharing and delivery services in the United States in late 2021.
Alphabet Inc's Waymo is already providing ride-sharing services in Arizona in partnership with Lyft .
(Reporting by Joseph White in Detroit; Editing by Leslie Adler)