But here’s Vogt, expanding from San Francisco to Austin, Texas, and Phoenix and looking to add more cities in California. 

“We’re no longer trying to prove that this technology works or even that we can do it inexpensively,” he said. “It’s about reaching scale and driving that top-line revenue and path to profitability. And that’s the appropriate place for our focus to be at this stage.”

The revenue growth goals, he acknowledged, are “eye-popping”: $1 billion in 2025, swelling to $50 billion by 2030.

Does that sound preposterous? Yeah, at least a little. 

But Cruise has a shot: It offers the promise of a service that costs less than current options and should become more affordable, early results indicate powerful customer acceptance, it has a manufacturing partner ready to ramp up production of a vehicle specifically engineered for this purpose, and there are few direct robotaxi competitors.

So why not Cruise?

“We keep asking ourselves: What’s the thing that’s going to hold us back? And we try to find those, identify them and burn them down,” Vogt told us. “We’re just finding fewer and fewer.”

Of course, there are some big hurdles left, including winning regulatory acceptance, safely navigating snow and ice, traveling at highway speeds, maintaining cleanliness from ride to ride. 

But it feels like these could be overcome. It just might be possible, even in this decade, for many Americans to get a cheaper, safer ride around town or even to own their own autonomous vehicle. 

And that’s a big (profanity deleted) deal.

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