M&A proves essential to GM, Cruise rolling out autonomous cars
September 13, 2017
Kyle Vogt, CEO of GM subsidiary Cruise Automation, has announced that the automaker is ready to launch a fully autonomous vehicle, highlighting the edge that Cruise has over competitors in the same space: access to GM's capacity for mass production. That could make the vehicles available in a matter of months—not years, Vogt said.
GM took a massive step toward building out an autonomous vehicle by acquiring Cruise for about $1 billion last year. The company has since operated within GM's Autonomous Vehicle Development team in San Francisco, where the Generation 3 vehicles will first be used by Cruise employees to hail rides through a dedicated app.
As a GM subsidiary, Cruise has also enjoyed a little autonomy of its own, avoiding among other things liability concerns, data ownership and asset financing—problems "that plague other relationships and partnership models" for developing driverless tech, according to Vogt.