Today we are opening up our driverless cars in San Francisco to the public.
I’m still surprised I can even write those words — this moment really snuck up on me. I work on these cars every day, and I’ve seen every inch of progress. Just 3 months ago I took the first-ever fully driverless ride in a major US city, and it was incredible. When Sourdough arrived, with no one inside, and took me for a quiet ride through the streets of SF, it became clear to me that we’ve built something very special. Now it’s time for us to share it.
We’re opening a sign-up page on our site today so you can get a driverless ride soon — and free, for now! 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.
Over the past several weeks Cruise employees have been taking rides every single night. Even our friends from GM came out and took a ride. They rode in Tostada and Disco which both performed flawlessly. Each car has a unique name, but the experience is consistent and predictable. From app to pickup to dropoff, these amazing vehicles just work. Check out this video of some of the first public riders. As you can see, most people experience childlike delight during the first ride, but then the ride quickly becomes boring (as it should). Brilliantly boring. One of them even fell asleep.
We have one other piece of news to share. The SoftBank Vision Fund initially invested $900 million in Cruise in 2018. They agreed to invest an additional $1.35 billion when we started operating fully driverless cars. I’m pleased to announce we’ve officially hit that milestone! This additional capital will help us expand our world-class team and quickly scale this technology across SF and into more communities.
Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, called her first driverless ride “surreal” and “a highlight of her career” as an engineer. I feel exactly the same way and can’t wait for you to try it for yourself. There’s no better place for us to start than in San Francisco, a place where thinking big is encouraged regardless of how outrageous your ideas may seem. Thank you Cruisers, and thank you San Francisco.