General Motors is buying Cruise Automation as part of its efforts to develop shareable autonomous vehicles. Bobbi Rebell reports.
General Motors may be based in the motor city of Detroit, but the top automaker clearly Silicon Valley on its roadmap. GM snapping up Cruise Automation, a San Francisco self-driving vehicle startup. The purchase is the latest in a string of high tech investments. Tech website Re/Code puts the price at $1 billion. GM says it wants to use Cruise's technology, and the company's employees to launch autonomous vehicles, maybe as part of ride-sharing fleets. In January, GM said, it would invest half a billion dollars in the ride-hailing company Lyft. Soon after, GM formed a new car-sharing brand operation called Maven. Auto industry players, like Tesla, and tech companies, like Google, are aggressively investing in self-driving auto technology. Reuters Joe White: (SOUNDBITE) JOE WHITE, TRANSPORTATION EDITOR, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Don't forget Tesla has an auto pilot system that allows a car to drive itself at least under certain ideal circumstances on a highway already. But there is a cluster here of companies and GM is one of them, that are at the forefront of commercializing vehicle technology that allows for some level of autonomous driving." As for when these cars could hit the road, General Motors did not give a specific timeline or date.