GM buys Cruise Automation to speed up the development of self-driving cars image

General Motors acquired a San Francisco tech company to help the Detroit-based automaker in its autonomous quest.

The self-driving race is rising its pace within the automotive industry and all the automakers involved are trying to bring such technologies on the road as soon as possible. In its efforts to speed up the development of autonomous technologies and mobility, General Motors made lately some moves in this direction. In January, it announced the creation of a dedicated team to oversee the further progress of such smart vehicles. They also declared publicly their intention to invest no less than 500 million dollars in the ride-hailing company Lyft, followed that by forming a new car-sharing brand called Maven. Now, the automaker is buying San Francisco-based Cruise Automation, an autonomous driving startup founded in 2013.

“We are excited to be partnering with GM and believe this is a ground-breaking and necessary step toward rapidly commercializing autonomous vehicle technology,” Kyle Vogt, founder of Cruise Automation, said. According to Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, “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.”

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.