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GM & # 39; s Cruise plans to check unmanned self-driving automobiles in San Francisco this 12 months

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Dan Kan (from left to right), COO of Cruise Automation, Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise Automation, and Dan Ammann, President of General Motors, Tuesday, November 20, 2018, in the Cruise Automation offices in San Francisco, California.

Source: Noah Berger | General Motors

Cruise, a majority-owned subsidiary of General Motors, plans to begin testing unmanned autonomous vehicles in San Francisco by the end of this year.

The company announced Thursday that it had received permission from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to remove the replacement human drivers from its self-driving cars. The state also confirmed the approval on its website.

"Before the end of the year we will send cars onto the streets of SF – without gasoline and without anyone behind the wheel," wrote Cruise CEO Dan Ammann in an article in Medium. "Because safely removing the driver is the true yardstick of a self-driving car and because burning fossil fuels is not a way of shaping the future of transportation."

Cruise isn't the first company to receive such approval, but it marks a milestone in bringing Cruise's privately-operated fleet without a driver to a public level – a goal of the company.

Other companies that have previously received such approval include Alphabet & # 39; s Waymo, Autox Technologies, Nuro, and Amazon & # 39; s Zoox.

Ammann, who was previously GM's president, said Cruise expects to be the first to test unmanned autonomous vehicles "on the streets of a major US city."

Ammann didn't say when the company plans to open a business in autonomous commercial vehicles for passengers or cargo. Last year's cruise delayed the launch of a commercial self-driving vehicle service in San Francisco, which is expected to be deployed in 2019. The company said its vehicles needed further testing. Cruise has consistently said that the starting time depends on safety.

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Katherine Clark