General Motors Acquires Self-Driving Car Startup

Image courtesy of (Muhammad Sameer)

Two months after General Motors unveiled a $500 million investment in Lyft, the mustachioed ride-hailing service, with the hopes of one day providing the masses with rides in a self-driving fleet, the carmaker has taken a step that might help it realize that goal: acquiring self-driving vehicle startup Cruise Automation. 

GM will transition the California-based startup to its General Motors Autonomous Vehicle Development Team, but also continue to allow the company to run independently, Mashable reports.

Financial details of the transaction were not immediately available, but GM says the deal puts it one step closer to the future of mobility.

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

Cruise Automation, which launched in 2013, previously created an aftermarket semi-autonomous driving system called Cruise RP-1. While the $10,000 system has since been abandoned, it was able to turn an ordinary car into a piloted vehicle through an extensive install process.

GM announced last year that it didn’t plan to hold anything back when it comes to autonomous vehicles.

The company, which has worked with scientists from Carnegie Mellon University in the past, unveiled plans in October to introduce a fleet of “robo-Volts” on the roads of its technical campus and equipping an unspecified Cadillac with a semiautonomous feature called “Super Cruise” that enables a car to handle itself in certain situations.

While the company hasn’t set specific target dates for the Volt fleet or the super cruise-enabled Cadillac, CEO Mary Barra said “we’re gonna move aggressively.”

GM acquires self-driving startup in step toward fully autonomous cars [Mashable]