Creating the Cruise Origin

Jason Fischer, Executive Chief Engineer, Autonomous Vehicles, GM joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy Podcast to discuss the creation of the Cruise Origin and how GM is going to manufacturer and scale the Origin.

The conversation begins with Jason discussing how important the Cruise Origin is to GM’s autonomous vehicle plans.

The Cruise Origin is incredibly important to GM’s autonomous plans. We believe that at General Motors we’re pursuing what we believe is the most comprehensive path to autonomous mobility in the entire industry.

– Jason Fischer

As the Origin was developed the team took away a lot of learnings from the Bolt AV. The Bolt AV laid the foundation for GM to develop the Cruise Origin in a scaleable manner.

The Bolt AV really sets the foundation for us to be able to quickly put the Cruise Origin out in a scaleable manner. The Bolt AV is kind of our learning opportunity before we expand the Cruise Origin.

– Jason Fischer

In order to be able to scale, you have to have world-class manufacturing facilities and this is exactly what GM and Cruise are doing with the Origin. The Origin is being manufactured at the GM’s Factory ZERO plant in Detroit. Cruise is tapping into GM’s heritage of building world-class vehicles that are reliable and safe. This becomes a competitive advantage for Cruise as the company scales operations around the world.

GM has a 100 year history of making great products and you see them on the road every day. We haven’t wavered from that, especially from a safety perspective. We haven’t wavered from that when we bring these autonomous vehicles out.

– Jason Fischer

As Cruise prepares to deploy the Origins on public roads, one of the key ways that Cruise is going to be able to build and maintain trust with the public is GM. As the public will know that the vehicle was built by world-class engineers on an assembly line that prioritizes safety. Prior to deploying an Origin on public roads, the vehicle will go through the same safety validation that each and every GM vehicle goes through in addition to a complete system-wide software and sensor validation.

We’re not cutting any corners. That’s not the way GM does work. It’s always going to be safe deployment. It’s always going to be customer safety first.

– Jason Fischer

When a consumer first steps into the Cruise Origin it will be an inviting experience that welcomes you to walk into the vehicle. Through the use of light and color, Cruise has designed the vehicle in a manner that makes it easy to understand how to put your seat belt on and start the ride.

Inviting is really the word that I think of when I think of the Cruise Origin and how it’s going to interact with the customer.

– Jason Fischer

For the business of autonomous ride-sharing to truly operate at peak performance, up-time of the vehicle will be mission critical. Cruise has a developed an operating range metric which will allow operations to be opportunistic as when to charge the vehicle.

The autonomous vehicle industry can learn a lot from the airline industry and this exactly what Cruise is putting into practice by hiring airline executives to develop and implement the operations strategy. Very similar to fuselage that airlines use to move passengers around the world, GM developed the Cruise Origin to last for a long time.

Our strategy was, we want the body to last as long as it possibly can. Our body right now from a structural perspective will last over a million miles.

– Jason Fischer

GM has taken a very aggressive stance towards autonomy and embraced it throughout the entire company. It’s a strategy that has allowed Cruise to flourish and one that will allow Cruise to scale operations around the world.

Innovations come to GM to live.

– Jason Fischer

As we move into the future GM will keep innovating as the company is committed to introducing and deploying a personal-owned autonomous vehicle by the end of the decade.

Wrapping up the conversation, Jason shares his thoughts on the future of autonomous vehicles.

The future of autonomous is endless. We are just starting to scratch the surface.

– Jason Fischer

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Recorded on Tuesday, November 1, 2022