Cruise Origin is my On-Demand Train

And if it isn’t, it’s already pretty close.

More than two years ago, I wrote that many problems related with driverless cars come from the fact that we are calling driverless cars with the wrong name. More specifically, I wrote that:

The ethical stress caused by [safety issues with driverless cars] may disappear, or at least be hugely diminished, if we just started calling self-driving cars with what should have been their real name since the beginning, and handled them accordingly:

Cruise Origin is my On-Demand Train /img/high-line-fake-train-somt.jpg

“The real name of self-driving cars must become something like SOMT: Shared, On-Demand, Micro… TRAIN” (continues here)

Forward to the Origin

That was 2017. This month, I have discovered the Cruise Origin and… look at this:

Cruise Origin is my On-Demand Train /img/cruise-origin-slogan.jpg

If something whose home page starts with this slogan isn’t born to be a SOMT, it is really pretty close to it.

Cruise Origin is my On-Demand Train /img/cruise-origin-small.jpg
<a href="/img/cruise-origin.jpg" target="_blank">Real SOMT, click for larger image</a>


It gets better. The Cruise Origin is “It’s what you’d build if there were no cars.” Quoting from “We need to move beyond the car”:

“at Cruise it is our mission to improve safety by removing the human driver, reduce emissions by being all-electric, and reduce congestion through making shared rides more compelling by providing an awesome experience at a radically lower cost."

Heavens know if and how much the driverless car industry is, in general, full of hype. Really autonomous driving in generic streets and urban environments of today is becoming more and more of a joke every month. But in rebuilt urban environments (because we have to rebuilt lots of big cities anyway, somehow), vehicles like the Cruise Origin would be a crucial part of the right solution. I really look forward to see how they progress.