Multinational corporation and automotive sector leader, General Motors (GM) has announced that it has procured the San Francisco-based self-driving vehicle startup, Cruise Automation. With this latest acquisition, GM has pledged its commitment to the driverless car movement alongside fellow global giant, Google.
Since its establishment in 2013, Cruise Automation has quickly become established in driverless technologies, and has developed and tested a number of products and methods over the last few years. The company will remain a separate arm within GMâs new, Autonomous Vehicle Development Team. The division, dedicated to the development of autonomous automotive technology, will continue to be led by Doug Parks.
Dan Ammann is hopeful for the future of driverless cars, suggesting that fully autonomous vehicles would deliver greater convenience, lower cost and improved safety to customers. Founder of Cruise Automation, Kyle Vogt, shared a similar vision of improved safety and mobility, describing the partnership as a ground-breaking and necessary step toward rapidly commercialising autonomous vehicle technology.
Alongside the acquisition of the software expert, GM is expected to make a flurry of investments geared toward realising fully driverless vehicles in the near future. That will include placing significant emphasis on staff training and research, as well as plant and production facilities.
This latest partnership follows a long line of collaborations for GM since that start of 2016. After purchasing ride-sharing company, Lyft, GM formed Maven, a personal mobility brand with its own dedicated to car-sharing fleet. Indeed, the company has a long history of high profile acquisitions and partnership, in many respects, using others to feather its core interest in research and development. GM has been at the front of innovation in the automotive sector and was the first to release an all-electric automobile and has continued to be a leader in flexible fuel vehicles. No doubt, the company will be hoping for much the same success with this latest venture.