Cruise said it began testing its self-driving robotaxis in Miami as a decision on its petition to deploy 2,500 self-driving vehicles in the US nears.

“We’re excited to start initial testing and data collection in your vibrant city tomorrow,’’ it tweeted. “Phase 1 is to familiarize our fleet with additional, diverse road conditions while collecting data.’’

The San Franciso-based company, a largely autonomous subsidiary of General Motors, added that the aim is to improve road safety and bring driverless rides to as many people as possible.

The development comes as US regulators are poised to decide on Cruise’s February petition to deploy as many as 2,500 self-driving vehicles on US roads annually. The vehicles wouldn’t have steering wheels, turn signals mirrors, or windshield wipers, according to the filing.

“The central issue is deciding whether vehicles that are driven not by humans but by computers need to comply with safety standards that are fundamentally about human drivers: requirements for mirrors, sun visors, windshield wipers and so forth,” said National Highway Traffic Safety acting Administrator Ann Carlson.

She said the agency will issue a decision on Cruise’s petition, the second received by the agency, “in the coming weeks.’’

Cruise Lost $561m in First Quarter

Cruise, which operates small numbers of driverless taxis in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Austin, lost $561 million in the first quarter on revenue of just $30 million, most of that from interest.

It lost $1.9 billion in 2022, up from $1.2 billion a year earlier, according to GM’s annual earnings report.

But it has said it’s on schedule to increase revenue to $1 billion by 2025 and $50 billion by 2030.

CEO Kyle Vogt tweeted on July 7 that the company had racked up 3 million driverless miles, and that the latest million was recorded in just three months, twice as fast as the previous 1 million miles.

“Lots of exciting things ahead for the rest of 2023 as we scale our operations and welcome more riders to @cruise,’’ he said.

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