Cruise LLC, the self-driving startup controlled by General Motors, is working with the automaker’s BrightDrop electric van business on a plan to develop autonomous delivery vehicles, people familiar with the matter said.
Cruise and BrightDrop have started early-stage work that could eventually put a self-driving system into the electric vans, potentially creating a driverless package-delivery service, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the collaboration. The nascent project could be a logical next step for GM, whose Cruise unit has mostly been focused on getting its robotaxi business running and generating revenue.
Despite the preliminary work, the people cautioned that Cruise is still dedicating most of its resources to the robotaxi effort, and said that other self-driving vehicle programs will get additional attention once that business is established. The company has been offering free rides in San Francisco without a safety driver and is hoping for state approvals to start charging fares next month.