Scaling Cruise - The Road to Autonomy

Scaling Cruise

Oliver Cameron, VP, Product, Cruise joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss scaling Cruise, the passenger experience and the role AI plays in the Cruise product.

The conversation begins with Oliver reflecting on the last four years in autonomy.

The biggest change for me that has happened over the last four years is that in 2019 everyone in the industry was waking up to answer the question can we make a car safer than a human, a self-driving car that is safer than a human.

– Oliver Cameron

Now it’s 2023 and Cruise is scaling a safe autonomous vehicle service in multiple cities with no safety drivers. As Cruise scales, Cruise is listening to passengers and gathering feedback and incorporating their feedback into the product.

There is just something about self-driving cars that really sparks a sense of optimism in people.

– Oliver Cameron

It’s a sense of optimism that brings joy and happiness. The Cruise experience is a consistent experience that only gets better over time. The Cruise virtual driver never becomes distracted, gets upset or emotional. It simply drives you to and from your destination safely each time ride in one of the vehicles, it’s a consistent experience.

The human equivalent is not very consistent. You can have the world’s best driver and the world’s worst driver from trip to trip. Our experience is very consistent and it only gets better over time and that is something that is very special and unique to autonomous vehicles that the human driven equivalents will simply just never be able to match because of the inconsistency of humans.

– Oliver Cameron

As autonomous vehicles scale, they benefit as they gather more data that can be used to improve the product. As an example in less then 90 days, Cruise was able to launch fully driverless operations in two cities, Austin, TX and Phoenix, AZ. Oliver goes onto explain how Cruise was able to achieve this goal.

If our technology was not generalizable, well frankly there is no chance of us deploying driverless in Austin in less then 90 days.

– Oliver Cameron

As Cruise scales, The Origin will play a critical role in operations. The Origin will be an eye-catching vehicle that makes you feel like you are living in The Jetsons when you first see it. When you first enter the vehicle you will realize how spacious it is. From a comfortable experience to one that is controlled by voice, The Origin is ushering in the future of mobility.

Through their partnership with Honda, Cruise is currently testing in Japan. When it comes to expanding to new international markets, the team at Cruise is working hard to understand local customs and how individuals in those countries pay for goods and interact with digital devices on a daily basis.

This technology can definitely scale a lot faster then people think.

– Oliver Cameron

To enable the future of autonomy we need AI breakthroughs. Oliver and Grayson go onto discuss the latest breakthroughs in AI and how Cruise is leveraging their machine learning infrastructure to improve their product.

Wrapping up the conversation, Oliver shares his outlook for the future of the autonomous vehicle industry.

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Recorded on Friday, January 27, 2023