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GM to acquire Cruise Automation to accelerate autonomous vehicle development

General Motors is acquiring three-year-old start-up Cruise Automation to add Cruise’s deep software talent and rapid development capability to further accelerate GM’s development of autonomous vehicle technology. Fortune reported from an unidentified source “close to the situation” that the deal is valued at “north of $1 billion.”

The acquisition of Cruise is GM’s latest step toward its goal of redefining the future of personal mobility. Since the beginning of the year, GM has entered into a strategic alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft (earlier post); formed Maven, its personal mobility brand for car-sharing fleets in many US cities (earlier post), and established a separate unit for autonomous vehicle development (earlier post).

The three-year old startup developed an aftermarket kit allowing buyers to convert certain cars into autonomous vehicles for highway driving. Currently, the team is working on the full stack for autonomous technology, including maps, sensors and AI, according to  Kevin Kelly from GM’s Advanced Technology Communications team.

Cruise will operate as an independent unit within GM’s recently formed Autonomous Vehicle Development Team led by Doug Parks, GM vice president of autonomous technology and vehicle execution, and will continue to be based in San Francisco. Founded in 2013, Cruise has moved quickly to develop and test autonomous vehicle technology in San Francisco’s challenging city environment.

GM’s commitment to autonomous vehicles is inspiring, deliberate, and completely in line with our vision to make transportation safer and more accessible. We are excited to be partnering with GM and believe this is a ground-breaking and necessary step toward rapidly commercializing autonomous vehicle technology.

—Kyle Vogt, founder of Cruise Automation

Cruise provides our company with a unique technology advantage that is unmatched in our industry. We intend to invest significantly to further grow the talent base and capabilities already established by the Cruise team.

—Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter.


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