General Motors (GM) announced earlier this month that it is to buy driverless car software and engineering firm, Cruise Automation, to to further accelerate development of GM autonomous vehicles.
“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.
Cruise will operate as an independent unit within the recently formed GM Autonomous Vehicles development team led by Doug Parks, GM vice president of autonomous technology and vehicle execution, and will continue to be based in San Francisco.
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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 commercializing autonomous vehicle technology.”
According to Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain: “Cruise provides our company with a unique technology advantage that is unmatched in our industry. We intend to invest significantly to further grow the talent base and capabilities already established by the Cruise team.”
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 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.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.