The autonomous vehicle industry is growing bigger every day even though the regulatory bodies still have issues with this technology.
In a move that will see the veteran American automaker join the likes of Google and Tesla, GM has announced that it will be buying the self-driving tech startup Cruise Automation, which is currently based in San Francisco.
At the moment, there is nothing concrete put forward about the financial details of this deal. However, sources closer to the matter have claimed that GM could end up paying a tune of up to $1 billion for this autonomous vehicle technology company.
Initially, GM was only looking for ways to invest in Cruise Automation, but this has quickly turned into something else. The discussion now centers on the acquisition of the startup, with the full details expected to be out in the coming few weeks or months for that matter.
What is GM getting into?
Cruise Automation has been around for about three years now. Over this period, the company has grown its popularity among top car makers such as Audi thanks to its aftermarket kit that lets owners of models such as Audi S4 and Audi A4 turn these cars into autonomous modes for cruising on highways. But rather than make use of the company’s kit, GM wants more such that all of this startup’s technology is incorporated into the automaker’s original manufacturing process.
Even though the automaker is working on plans to acquire the startup, Cruise will still be based in San Francisco, with the plan being to aggressively grow the company while at the same time attracting the best talent possible.
As of now, Cruise Automation employs about 40 people. GM has not said anything whether it will keep this workforce or not, but the software company’s website currently lists 10 job openings, with most of them covering the engineering sector.
So, what is GM really getting into with this move? Self-driving car technology is the definite answer. Recently, the company was reported to be assembling a team meant to deal with developing self-driving car technology. Now that it is adding this startup to its team, we might get to see an autonomous car from GM in a few years’ time.
GM is still playing catch up
As mentioned at the beginning, the latest move by the car maker means it joins the likes of Google in developing self-driving cars. However, it was expected that Google joins GM and not the other way round. Obviously, GM is playing catch-up in the self-driving car technology, but the improvements are coming in slowly, with things like Wi-Fi making their way to a good number of their models thanks to a partnership with AT&T.
It is still a long way to go for GM, but at least, the future looks bright for the leading automaker in the country.