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GM's Cruise unit unveils driverless vehicle for ride-sharing service

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The vehicle, named "Cruise Origin", was developed with Honda Motor, which took a minority stake in Cruise in 2018 in an effort to catch up with rivals in developing a technology with enormous costs and risk and no market-ready products.

[SAN FRANCISCO] General Motors' self-driving car unit, Cruise, on Tuesday unveiled an electric vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals for use in its planned autonomous ride-sharing service, but did not say when it would go into production.

The vehicle, named "Cruise Origin", was developed with Honda Motor, which took a minority stake in Cruise in 2018 in an effort to catch up with rivals in developing a technology with enormous costs and risk and no market-ready products.

Cruise's chief executive officer, Dan Ammann, said the boxy vehicle with sliding doors will be used for the company's own ride-hailing service.

Mr Ammann did not say when the new service, which would compete with Lyft and Uber, would be launched. Cruise still needs a waiver from US regulators to operate vehicles without human controls.

The unit, which was valued at US$19 billion following a US $1.15 billion round of investment in May, previously scrapped a plan of launching a robotaxi service by the end of 2019.

While carmakers across the world are racing to develop self-driving technology, it has yet to gain widespread consumer acceptance as recent accidents involving such vehicles raised doubts about its readiness for public roads.

REUTERS