General Motors (GM) continues its self-driving car push today with the news that it has acquired Cruise Automation, a San Francisco-based self-driving car company that develops an autopilot system for existing cars.
“Fully autonomous vehicles can bring our customers enormous benefits in terms of greater convenience, lower cost and improved safety for their daily mobility needs,” said GM president Dan Ammann, in a press release.
As the century-old car company behind big automotive brands such as Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and Vauxhall, General Motors is one of the world’s major carmakers — but it’s also in danger of being usurped by tech companies that are building autonomous car technology, including Uber, Google, and Apple.
Founded in 2013, Cruise Automation has raised just shy of $20 million since its inception, and it has been building and testing autonomous vehicle technology across San Francisco.
“GM’s commitment to autonomous vehicles is inspiring, deliberate, and completely in line with our vision to make transportation safer and more accessible,” explained Kyle Vogt, founder of Cruise Automation. “We are excited to be partnering with GM and believe this is a ground-breaking and necessary step toward rapidly commercializing autonomous vehicle technology.”
Following this acquisition, Cruise will continue to operate as an independent unit, though it will exist within GM’s new Autonomous Vehicle Development arm. While an official figure hasn’t been announced for this acquisition, Fortune reports that it amounts to more than $1 billion in cash and stock.