Cruise starts to offer driverless rides on the streets of San Francisco

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Cruise LLC is starting to offer members of the public rides on San Francisco streets, Interim CEO and Co-Founder Kyle Vogt said in a blog post Tuesday. 

Cruise, which General Motors Co. has a majority stake in, has opened a sign-up page for consumers to try a driverless service that is currently free.

"We’re starting with a small number of users and will ramp up as we make more cars available, so sign up now to lock in an early spot," Vogt wrote in the post. 

The launch of driverless service comes the same day GM is releasing its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings. The Detroit automaker said in December that despite supply chain problems affecting production, it expects adjusted earnings before interest and taxes to hit $14 billion, up from a previous guidance of $11.5 billion to $13.5 billion. 

GM will post earnings after the market closes. 

Cruise is an important part of GM's growth plans, as it told investors at the Investor Day event in October where it revealed Cruise could deliver $50 billion in annual revenue by 2030.

The automaker is not Cruise's only prime investor though. On Tuesday, Cruise also announced an additional influx of capital from the SoftBank Vision Fund, which already invested $900 million in the company. SoftBank previously agreed to invest an additional $1.35 billion once Cruise was operating fully driverless cars. 

"I’m pleased to announce we’ve officially hit that milestone," Vogt wrote in the blog post. "This additional capital will help us expand our world-class team and quickly scale this technology across SF and into more communities."

Cruise in 2019 delayed a plan to deploy driverless taxis in San Francisco by the end of that year.