GM Expands Cruise Automation With $14 Million Investment
To accelerate the development of autonomous cars, General Motors will spend $14 million on a new facility in San Francisco for Cruise Automation.
GM bought the driverless tech startup last March, and is making a major push to expand its resources. The new R&D facility, which will be ready by the end of the year, will more than double Cruise Automation’s current research and development space. California has provided GM with an $8 million tax credit to help with the expansion. Over the course of five years, Cruise Automation will add more than 1,100 new employees.
Founded in 2013, Cruise Automation originally sold aftermarket self-driving systems on its own, but it now operates as an independent company within General Motors. Currently, it’s testing more than 50 autonomous Chevrolet Bolts on public roads in San Francisco, Arizona, and Michigan. Although it’s unclear when the self-driving tech will make its way to market, we can expect it to arrive first on vehicles for Lyft. Last year, GM announced a partnership with Lyft to create a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles across the U.S.
“Expanding our team at Cruise Automation and linking them with our global engineering talent is another important step in our work to redefine the future of personal mobility,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a press release. “Running our autonomous vehicle program as a start-up is giving us the speed we need to continue to stay at the forefront of development of these technologies and the market applications.”
GM recently came in second place in a study ranking the top players in autonomous driving technology. It jumped ahead of Nissan, Daimler, Volkswagen, BMW, Tesla, and a host of other companies, but slotted just behind Ford.