DETROIT – Cruise, an autonomous vehicle subsidiary majority owned by General Motors, is targeting a fleet of at least 1 million autonomous vehicles by 2030.
Cruise CEO Dan Ammann on Wednesday showed investors a chart of the company’s “exponential cruise fleet ramp” that showed its operations expanding to one million vehicles or more by the end of the decade at an investor event Wednesday for GM.
“We plan to grow the business quickly,” Ammann said during the presentation on the first of two days of investor meetings which ends Thursday.
Ammann did not specifically discuss the 2030 target, but a Cruise spokesperson confirmed that “this is where the company thinks it can be.”
To achieve such an ambitious goal, the company would need the approval of federal and state officials, who are in the early days of regulating the testing and deployment of these vehicles.
Cruise has been testing robotaxis in San Francisco for several years. Ammann said Cruise plans to start charging customers for rides as early as next year, pending a final permit from California.
The company last week obtained the fifth of the sixth permits needed to market a fleet of autonomous vehicles in the state. Google’s Waymo has also obtained a similar permit, but it requires vehicles to have emergency safety drivers.
Cruise plans to expand its fleet in the United States and overseas. Earlier this year, the company signed an agreement with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority to be the exclusive provider of self-driving taxis and ride-sharing services until 2029, which would help ramp up.
Ammann said Cruise expects to quickly reduce the cost of carpooling from about $ 5 per mile today to $ 1.50 per mile by removing the driver.
Cruise’s current test fleet consists of hundreds of custom Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles equipped with driverless technology. This fleet, with which it plans to launch operations, will continue to expand until a specially designed autonomous vehicle called Origin is produced by GM starting in early 2023.
The commercialization of autonomous vehicles has been much more difficult than many anticipated just a few years ago. Previous targets were also missed.
Cruise was slated to launch a public rideshare service in San Francisco in 2019. The company delayed those plans that year to conduct further testing.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously pledged to market autonomous vehicles, including 1 million robotaxis to date. The company does not currently have one.
Cruise CTO Kyle Vogt (left) with Travel CEO Oliver Cameron, who will join Cruise in an acquisition of the company.