Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Autonomous Vehicles

GM Will Pay $1 Billion For Cruise Automation, An Autonomous Driving Startup

Originally published on Gas2.

Cruise Automation is a San Francisco based startup with 10 employees. Today, all 10 have an extra spring in their step, especially founder Kyle Vogt, who dropped out of MIT in 2013 to sell an aftermarket system of sensors and software that allows late model Audi A4’s to drive themselves on the highway. According to Automotive News, the $10,000 system uses roof mounted radar and other sensors to control actuators for the car’s steering, brakes, and throttle.

Cruise-AutomationThis week, General Motors decided to buy the company outright. While GM will not confirm details of the transaction, reliable press reports suggest the purchase price is $1 billion. The deal is supposed to close in the second quarter of this year. In a statement, GM said it is buying Cruise automation for its “deep software talent and rapid development capability to further accelerate” GM’s development of autonomous vehicles.

GM is certainly not hanging around waiting for Elon Musk and his merry band to lead the way into the autonomous driving future. Just a few weeks ago, it announced it would invest a half billion dollars into ride sharing service Lyft.

GM initially planned an investment in the company but moved within five weeks to buy Cruise outright, said venture partner Nabeel Hyatt of Spark Capital, an investor in Cruise. “They moved faster than most Silicon Valley companies would move,” he said. Vogt impressed Silicon Valley venture capital fund Signia Venture Partners by demonstrating an Audi A4 that could be controlled by a game console, said Signia principal Sunny Dhillon.

Vogt told Reuters recently that his company is working on a system that will allow production cars to operate in fully autonomous mode. GM says Cruise Automation will remain based in San Francisco and operate independently within GM’s Autonomous Vehicle Development Team, created earlier this year and led by longtime engineering executive Doug Parks.

GM global product development chief Mark Reuss tells the press that GM will invest “significantly” in the Cruise team and its technology. “Cruise provides our company with a unique technology advantage that is unmatched in our industry,” he said. Newly minted billionaire Vogt says, “GM’s commitment to autonomous vehicles is inspiring, deliberate and completely in line with our vision to make transportation safer and more accessible.”

Is this a good deal for GM or just a boondoggle like the one that saw The General invest in Segway a few years ago? Is whatever Cruise Automation has worth a billion dollars? Doesn’t GM have some pretty sharp engineers on its payroll already?  After all, the Volt and the Bolt didn’t just spring full grown from the brow of Bob Lutz. Tell us what you think about this acquisition in the comments section.

Reprinted with permission.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we listened?


You May Also Like


GM and LGES have broken off talks about building a fourth US battery factory together after GM decided to switch to 4680 cells in...


Chevrolet’s “EVs for Everyone” ad starts with a woman’s voice saying, “It’s beautiful,” as she walks over to a Chevy Bolt EUV in the...


In 2021, the future of the Chevy Bolt was uncertain. It had started off as a car that had beat the $35,000 Tesla Model...


The SAIC, GM, and Wuling joint venture unleashed a smash hit car in China around mid-2020 at the height of the global coronavirus pandemic....

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.