Why GM Is Now Leading the Autonomous Vehicles Race
GM’s sensor-producing start-up acquisition
The market for autonomous cars is heating up as fast as anything in tech. America’s largest automaker, General Motors (GM), has already thrown its hat in the ring and acquired Strobe, which makes sensors that help cars navigate. Many experts believe that the Lidar, a laser-based sensor, could be critical to the development of such cars.
Lidar technology uses lasers to gauge the distance from the objects in the vehicle’s 360-degree radar. GM purchased Cruise Automation, an autonomous carmaker, last year, and according to the Wall Street Journal, Strobe’s engineers will join hands with Cruise Automation.
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Futuristic, but the next big thing
While the autonomous vehicle is still a futuristic concept, experts think that there will be many such cars on the road over the next ten years, and GM now owns companies that develop critical components of a self-driving car. These components include the car itself, the software through Cruise Automation, and the sensors that Strobe is developing to serve as the cars’ eyes. GM also invested half a billion dollars on ride-hailing company Lyft last year.
This will likely give GM a strong lead in the autonomous vehicle market, though Alphabet’s (GOOG) autonomous vehicle arm, Waymo, has also been trying to develop an in-house Lidar facility.
Notably, GM stock has surged 22.4% in the trailing one-month period alone and has gained 30% year-to-date.