How GM Raised Its Bets on Autonomous Vehicles in 2017



General Motors in 2017

Previously, we discussed how recent Fed rate hike could mean a reduction in General Motors’ (GM) pension obligations in 2018. As noted earlier in this series, GM’s key focus on profitability continues. At the same time, the company doesn’t want to miss opportunities when it comes to autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles.

Now, let’s take a look at some key developments in these areas that took place in 2017.

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Autonomous vehicles

In June 2017, General Motors revealed that it had produced 130 units of its Chevrolet Bolt next-generation autonomous vehicles. The company began testing these autonomous cars on public roads in late 2017. Before that, GM was already testing other 50 units of the autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV on roads in San Francisco, California, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Engineers from Cruise Automation have been testing these autonomous vehicles for GM, which it expects to bring to the market before any other legacy automaker.

For a little background, General Motors acquired San Francisco–based technology company Cruise Automation in 2016. Cruise Automation, which was known to provide highway automated systems for vehicles as an independent firm, began accelerating the development of self-driving vehicles for GM after the acquisition.

Personal mobility services

Apart from autonomous vehicles GM also continues to focus on personal mobility services. The company launched its own personal mobility car-sharing brand in 2016. Maven provides residential and peer-to-peer car-sharing services across the US.

To speed up the development of automated vehicles in the personal mobility space GM acquired LIDAR technology company Strobe in October 2017.

Auto giants (IYK) Ford (F), Daimler (DDAIF), and Volkswagen (VLKAY) also have a presence in car-sharing business. These automakers have partnered with tech startups to speed up the development of their self-driving vehicles in 2017.

In the next part, we’ll look at other key highlights related to GM’s electric vehicles.


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