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GM Buys Autonomobile Startup To Accelerate Self-Driving Vehicle Development

GM President Dan Ammann (the older guy) standing in front of a Chevy Bolt with Cruise Automation co-founders Kyle Vogt and Daniel Kan. Photo: GM
GM President Dan Ammann (the older guy) standing in front of a Chevy Bolt with Cruise Automation co-founders Kyle Vogt and Daniel Kan. Photo: GM

GM just picked Cruise Automation, a San Francisco-based company that specializes in retrofitting cars with autonomous driving tech. The move represents yet another step for GM to get their autonomous vehicle program running at full tilt.

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After their partnership with Lyft and their new car-sharing service Maven, you might have thought GM was going to take a breather on all this autonomous ride-sharing stuff for at least a couple months. But nope, they’re still at it.

This week, General Motors bought the tiny autonomous vehicle tech firm Cruise Automation to “add Cruise’s deep software talent and rapid development capability to further accelerate GM’s development of autonomous vehicle technology.”

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GM hasn’t released any figures, but Fortune says The General purchased the little autonomous car start-up for over $1 billion.

GM says Cruise will operate independently within GM’s Autonomous Vehicle Development Team, and it looks like they really want to expand the group. So if you’ve got a software engineering degree and somehow find yourself living in a box behind Walmart, GM VP Mark Reuss says Cruise needs you:

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.

Indeed, if you you go to Cruise’s website, the only thing you’ll find are links to job openings, so GM is moving fast.

Okay, so GM’s working with Lyft, they’ve got a new car-sharing service, they’ve started their own Autonomous Vehicle Development team, and now they’ve bought an autonomous-vehicle tech company.

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It seems that GM badly wants your car to drive itself.

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DISCUSSION

hammerheadfistpunch
HammerheadFistpunch

What bothers me about this is that it feel like the industry isn’t moving towards autonomous cars because the market demands it, the time is right or because it appears to sound business strategy...it feels like they are all pushing towards the goal of not being the only guy NOT working on it. Not just GM, but the entire industry feels like its caught in a race and no one knows why.