GM Plans on Acquiring ‘Cruise Automation’ New Autonomous Tech
General Motors Company (GM) has reportedly acquired a maker of sensors used for autonomous driving technology as the company paces forward in the race to autonomous driving revolution
Published By: Ken Bock
America’s largest automaker, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) has on Friday announced it as planning to acquire ‘Cruise Automation’ a technology startup based out of San Francisco that makes sensor systems that convert conventional vehicles into autonomous ones. The acquisition – with unknown transaction value – should help GM take a major stride forward in the race to commercially viable fully autonomous vehicle.
Tesla may appear to be the leader of the pack so far in terms of actual on-road autonomous tech. The fledgling electric car maker has multiple times in the past added software and hardware to its premium electric Model S sedan that allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel in ideal conditions.
Tesla says it will likely be the first automaker to produce a fully viable commercial autonomous vehicle but that belief is shared by several other automakers and technology companies. Google for example has already made a prototype self-driving car with a minimal top speed and two seats but impressively no steering wheel or manual breaks. That vehicle however is still quite a few years away from being ready to hit regular roads.
GM’s acquisition of Cruise Automation – which both parties believe is on track for a closure in the second quarter this year – could put it well ahead of rivals like Google or Tesla though, because the company has already said it plans to roll out autonomous tech in future models “as soon as possible.” Although it is hard to say if these models would be truly-autonomous it is still safe to assume they could help farther developments in the space in a major way.
Cruise Automation which employs a workforce of 40 people including engineers already has a permit from the motor vehicle department of California to conduct open road tests for their technology products.