General Motors revives its robotaxi service Cruise in Houston, with human drivers

This move comes as GM pledges to invest another $850 million in Cruise.

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Cruise, General Motors’ beleaguered driverless taxi service, announced Tuesday that it will start testing again around Houston. Cruise announced that they would start with human taxi drivers behind the wheels of its cars before moving to “supervised autonomous driving with a safety driver behind the wheel in the coming weeks.”

The announcement from Cruise landed around the same time that General Motors’ chief financial officer Paul Jacobson announced at Deutsche Bank’s Global Auto Industry Conference in New York City that the carmaker would inject another $850 million into the robotaxi company to cover operational costs.

Cruise has been nothing but a huge money pit for GM. Last year, the company plugged the plug on its driverless taxis when one of its cars in its San Francisco fleet hit a pedestrian who was hurled into the driverless taxi’s path by another vehicle and dragged them approximately 20 feet after getting pinned under its tire. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspended the company’s permits less than a month later. Cruise laid off nearly a quarter of its workforce and dismissed nine of its executives including the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Kyle Vogy following an investigation into the accident.

Since then, Cruise has slowly but surely started showing new signs of life. In April, the company announced it would start redeploying its services in Phoenix. Just as in Houston, Cruise’s cars will still be monitored and operated by humans. The autonomous taxi company also plans to expand its services to other cities by engaging “with officials and community leaders,” according to the company’s blog,but gave no timeline on when an extension might happen.

Update June 11, 5:45PM ET: This article was updated after publishing to clarify that Cruise's return to Houston is currently limited to testing, rather than picking up fares.

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