General Motors CEO Mary Barra has been on a couple of wild rides recently, and it has nothing to do with the company's share price.
In November, she was in the backseat of an electric GMC Hummer EV that President Biden was driving, accelerating from 0-60 mph in the 1000-horsepower monster truck's WTF (Watts to Freedom) mode in a parking lot outside a GM factory. More recently, she took a spin in a very different electric car.
She and GM President Mark Reuss were visiting San Francisco to check out the autonomous ride hailing vehicles being developed by the company's Cruise subsidiary and were chauffeured around the city in fully autonomous Chevrolet Bolts with no one behind the wheel.
In a Cruise-produced video, Barra demonstrates requesting a car via a smartphone app and then gets in with Cruise founder Kyle Vogt.
As the car pulls away, Barra calls the experience "incredible" and says she wished she wasn't wearing a mask because she couldn't stop smiling.
"A lot of people have asked me, 'Well, how are you going to get people to use it?’ It's like, OK, we were in the vehicle for five minutes and the trust is there," Barra said.
"I always believed that we'd be doing it, but to actually be doing it is just surreal."
In his car, Reuss remarked how the technology will open doors for people who can't drive themselves or are aging, like his 85-year-old father Lloyd Reuss, who once served as president of General Motors.
Cruise first began offering the fully driverless service for company employees and some outside customers last November but has not yet gained approval to launch a public commercial service. Barra has previously said Cruise is aiming to do so sometime in 2022.