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Even if real Level 5 autonomous driving on open roads is still many years away, that doesn’t mean everyone’s not trying. This joint project between Cruise, GM, and Honda is a self-driving shuttle that’s meant for big ride-sharing. The project is testing in Phoenix and San Francisco, the latter being a seriously challenging environment for an autonomous system to negotiate, and conquering that challenge is still a ways off. The Origin’s systems incorporate LiDAR and radar at all four corners, and the brain will be able to learn and adapt as it drives. In terms of design, the shuttle was created using feedback from Lyft and Uber customers. Big sliding doors on both sides, room for six, open seating, and information displays for both sides should make it an easy and welcoming environment. It also appears there’s no front or rear so the vehicle can operate in both directions without having to turn around. The Origin name points to the fact that it could spawn future autonomous vehicles that will someday be ubiquitous.


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