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General Motors acquires self-driving car kit startup Cruise Automation

Snapshot: General motors acquires San Francisco based Cruise automation, dedicated entirely to self-driving car technology.

General Motors Co. has announced that it is acquiring San Francisco based small software Company,  that's been testing vehicles on the streets of San Francisco. Cruise Automation will help in adding it’s deep software talent and rapid development capability to further accelerate GM’s development of autonomous vehicle technology. The company is already developing a self-driving versions of the Chevrolet Volt semi-electric vehicle at its facility in Warren, Mich and has also plans to introduce automated technology that enables a Cadillac to Steer on its own on the highway later this year.

In a statement, Dan Ammann, GM President said, “Fully autonomous vehicles can bring our customers enormous benefits in terms of greater convenience, lower cost and improved safety for their daily mobility needs.” Adding to this, Mr Kyle Vogt, founder of Cruise Automation said, “GM's commitment to autonomous vehicles is inspiring, deliberate, and completely in line with our vision to make transportation safer and more accessible. 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 automaker, which is racing against tech giants Google and Apple, recently invested $ 500 million in ride-hailing firm Lyft as experts predict that self-driving cars will first catch on with the ride-hailing and taxi companies like Lyft and Uber before consumers begin buying them. Cruise will work as an independent unit within companys’ 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.

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 company is expected to close the deal in the second quarter. GM and its partner produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.

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