For self-driving car developers, every mile driven proves that their technology works and serves as an opportunity to collect data for further improvement. That’s why Cruise just announced that it has completed 1 million miles fully driverless, calling the achievement one of its biggest milestones. These were driven for several miles without a safety driver, most of which were collected in San Francisco, a spokesperson told CNN.

If you recall, the General Motors subsidiary was as early as November 2021It was also the first company to receive a permit from the California Public Utilities Commission for self-driving deployments, allowing it to charge riders for rides in robotaxis until last June. It will only have about 30 vehicles in operation by early 2022, according to a disengagement report it filed with the California DMV. CNN The company said it would maintain a fleet of 100 vehicles as of last September and was looking to add another 5,000.

Each of these miles is “full of complex scenarios that allow Cruise to scale up quickly,” said Mo Elshenawy, Cruise’s senior vice president of engineering. Because San Francisco’s streets are often chaotic and packed with people, the company was able to Gather tons of useful data to improve its technology. “For example,” Elshenawy wrote in a blog post, “stop signs are blown through in San Francisco 46 times more often than in the suburbs.”

Cruise has been feeding data from each drive to a continuously learning machine that creates millions of permutations of real-world scenarios on the road. This allows the technology to learn from simulated drives and then apply what it learns to real-life situations. “When you consider our safety record, the importance of our team’s accomplishments is even more pronounced,” Elshenawy continued. “Riders have taken tens of thousands of Cruise AV rides to date. Over the next few years, millions of people will experience this fully driverless future first-hand.”

Cruise’s announcement comes nearly a month after San Francisco officials sent a letter to California regulators asking them to slow down Cruise’s (and Waymo’s) expansion plans. They reportedly wanted to gain a better understanding of self-driving cars first, and were concerned about “scheduled and unscheduled AV stops that obstruct traffic, creating hazards and network impacts.”as New York Times In a recent report, Cruise and Waymo vehicles have caused traffic jams in San Francisco several times in the past. The companies would have to improve their technology significantly before expanding, officials argued, or they “could quickly exhaust emergency response resources and potentially undermine public confidence in all self-driving technology.”

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