We might get a look at the first autonomous vehicle developed by General Motors' Cruise division Tuesday — today — and at least one company official has already warned us that what we will see is not a car in the way we have traditionally defined it.
Whatever it is, sources at GM told Bloomberg that we're going to see it unveiled at a dedicated event in San Francisco.
Cruise spokesman Ray Wert told the financial news service only that “it is definitely not a car.” Beyond that, we don't know much, beyond the fact that it will be powered by an EV drivetrain and engineered to operate autonomously.
Rather than sporting a conventional cabin, the autonomy and mobility division's first vehicle is expected to borrow cues from lounge-inspired concept cars shown by countless manufacturers. Lacking typical controls, these concepts make far more efficient use of interior space, allowing passengers more comfort than they'd otherwise enjoy.
We've seen photographs of Cruise's test vehicles without a steering wheel; this will supposedly take that formula to the next level.
This would make the new passenger-oriented Cruise model ideal for commuting, especially for those who want to enjoy the benefits of ride-sharing and get away from private ownership.
We've heard rumors that we won't see a production vehicle from Cruise for some time, but the company seems to be on a promotional tear lately, posing questions about what defines a vehicle and some of its functions.
It's likely that the uptick in information flowing from GM's autonomy project coincides with its push to receive approval to sell cars without traditional driver controls.
In any event, we should be mere hours away from seeing what exactly Cruise has in mind for the future of ride-sharing and autonomous mobility.