Exclusive: Free robo-rides for University of San Francisco students – Axios

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Driverless Cruise car. Photo: Courtesy of Cruise
When you go to college in the tech capital of the world, getting home from parties is just … different.
What's happening: Autonomous vehicle company Cruise told Axios this week it partnered with the University of San Francisco to offer free robotaxi rides to the school's more than 8,500 undergrad and graduate students through May 2023.
What they're saying: "Our students are eager for affordable and safe transportation alternatives … in the course of their studies, internships, jobs and of course, socialization," USF's chief information officer Opinder Bawa told Axios. "There's a cool factor here too. [Students] feel like they’re part of the future."
Why it matters: Given the "reputation" of traditional rideshare companies like Uber forcing their way into cities, Megan Prichard, vice president of Cruise's ridehail department, told Axios that her firm wanted to do things differently and form partnerships from the start.
How it works: USF students recently received an email to sign up and already, hundreds of rides have been completed.
Of note: While some people may be nervous to hop in a driverless car for the first time, Prichard said often riders find them to be a "better [experience] within the first few minutes."
What's next: If successful at USF, Cruise will consider partnering with other universities in the future.
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