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Driverless electric cars are now picking up passengers in San Francisco

A Cruise autonomous car driving in traffic in San Francisco
Image Credit: Cruise

Cruise, the GM subsidiary that's developing robotaxi services for cities around the world, is now picking up its first passengers in San Francisco.

The company announced the official debut of its service to customers on Tuesday and is now booking rides.

It's been about three months since Cruise founder and chief executive Kyle Vogt, took the first-ever fully driverless ride in a major US city.

Now, Cruise is sharing its innovative driverless riding service with riders in the Bay Area. Initially the service was only open to Cruise employees and executives at Cruise's parent company, GM, as folks took the robot taxis for test spins. Even some public riders made their way through the city in test rides.

Behind the scenes, big money is being poured into Cruise to make the tech commercially viable. The Japanese investment firm SoftBank invested $1.35 billion into Cruise to bring the cars to more markets.

According to a blog post from Vogt, Mary Barra, the chief executive of GM, even took a spin in one of Cruise's cars. Vogt said she called the experience “surreal” and “a highlight of her career” as an engineer.

The service is only available at night -- from 11 pm to 5 am and is limited to certain areas and streets within the Haight-Ashbury, Richmond District, Chinatown and Pacific Heights neighborhoods, according to a report from TechCrunch.

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