To accelerate the development and technology of autonomous vehicle, General Motors Co (GM) acquired Cruise Automation, a San Francisco based startup founded in 2013, which are in the business of designing aftermarket autonomous vehicle technology. Though the GM and Cruise did not disclose the value of the deal, technology website Re/Code cited sources as saying GM paid $1 billion.
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.
“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. 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.”
“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.”
The start-up currently specialises in self-driving tech designed exclusively for highways. Its RP-1 pack, costing around $ 10,000 kit comprising a roof-mounted sensor pod, a control computer, steering column motors and a control dial, is the firm’s major offering produced especially for Audi A4s and S4s.
GM’s latest acquisitions are indicating that automaker is serious about self-driving cars. In January, GM invested $ half billion in Lyft, ride-hailing company. The company has also established a separate unit for self-driving vehicle development.