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Cruise plans to start making autonomous Origin shuttle in 2023

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — Production of autonomous vehicle company Cruise LLC's self-driving shuttle is expected to start in early 2023, company CEO Dan Ammann said Thursday during a Financial Times conference. 

Ammann, the former president of General Motors Co., which largely owns Cruise, revealed the production timeline for the Cruise Origin while speaking with Financial Times at its Future of the Car summit

The Cruise Origin will be built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant. Cruise LLC, the autonomous vehicle unit of GM, provided this rendering of the vehicle.

The reveal is the first time Cruise has given a solid timeframe for production of the Origin, which will be built at GM's Factory Zero at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, where the new GMC Hummer EV and the electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado will be built. 

"We still have a lot of development work and early commercial deployment work to do over the balance of this year and into next year," Ammann said at the summit.

Ammann said Cruise will expand its fleet of the Chevrolet Bolt-based autonomous vehicle "over the next 18 months or so ... but the the real scaling begins and we'll continue with the Origin."

Cruise hasn't yet said when it will commercially deploy its fleet after backing off an earlier 2019 deadline. Reuters reported Wednesday that Cruise, and rival Waymo, applied for permits to charge for rides and delivery using AVs in San Francisco — though Waymo said it would have "drivered operations" and Cruise said it would operate without a driver behind the wheel, according to the report.

Cruise recently finalized an agreement through 2029 to operate self-driving taxis and ride-hailing services in Dubai — the first non-U.S. city where Cruise plans to operate commercially. The operation in Dubai will start in 2023. Dubai will also be the first non-U.S. city for the launch of the Origin.

Cruise unveiled the Origin, an autonomous shuttle with no steering wheel or gas pedal, in January 2020.

Twitter: @bykaleahall