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The company is said to be struggling to achieve effective autonomous operation, despite limiting initial testing to a single city.

General Motors in January boldly claimed to have built the industry's first "production-ready" autonomous car, however a recent report suggests the modified Chevrolet Bolt EVs may be years away from giving unsupervised rides to paying customers.

Citing a person with "direct knowledge" of Cruise's technology, The Information claims the current fleet of Cruise AVs is frequently involved in accidents or near-misses. The cars allegedly have trouble performing u-turns and driving down narrow two-way residential streets or construction zones.

In one instance, ahead of a media demonstration drive, the company is said to have dispatched workers to trim a bush to prevent the car from swerving on the pre-planned route.

Certain roads and intersections are said to be blacklisted if the cars have trouble, adding up to 20 minutes to a journey compared to taking a human-piloted car.

The Information's source claims it "is likely to be a decade before the cars come into wide use in major cities," suggesting Waymo has an even wider lead over its nearest rivals.