General Motors acquires autonomous vehicle firm

General Motors Co. recently announced that it is acquiring Cruise Automation to add software talent and rapid development capability to further accelerate GM’s development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Autonomous vehicle technology

“Fully autonomous vehicles can bring our customers enormous benefits in terms of greater convenience, lower cost and improved safety for their daily mobility needs,” said GM President Dan Ammann.

Technology testing in San Francisco

Cruise will operate as an independent unit within GM’s recently formed Autonomous Vehicle Development Team led by Doug Parks, GM Vice President of Autonomous Technology and Vehicle Execution, and will continue to be based in San Francisco.  Founded in 2013, Cruise has moved quickly to develop and test autonomous vehicle technology in San Francisco’s challenging city environment.

“GM’s commitment to autonomous vehicles is inspiring, deliberate, and completely in line with our vision to make transportation safer and more accessible,” said Kyle Vogt, Founder of Cruise Automation. “We are excited to be partnering with GM and believe this is a ground-breaking and necessary step toward rapidly commercialising autonomous vehicle technology.”

The future of connected cars

The acquisition of Cruise is GM’s latest step toward its goal of redefining the future of personal mobility. Since the beginning of the year, GM has entered into invested US$500 million to create a strategic alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft; formed Maven, its personal mobility brand for car-sharing fleets in many US cities, and established a separate unit for autonomous vehicle development.

GM’s competitors, Ford Motor, Tesla, Toyota and other companies are also developing self-driving cars. Recently, Ford announced the creation of a new subsidiary, Ford Smart Mobility, a unit dedicated to building new smart technology for cars, including autonomous cars.

Edited from press release by Cecilia Rehn.