GM Acquires Silicon Valley Autonomous Vehicle Technology Startup


General Motors Co. today announced it will acquire Cruise Automation, a San Francisco-based startup that develops autonomous vehicle technologies, as the automaker continues to work to position itself as a mobility company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cruise Automation, founded in 2013, has developed an autonomous driving kit called Cruise RP-1 that can be installed on existing cars, which costs $10,000. The highway autopilot system features car and lane tracking, adaptive speed control, collision avoidance, and precision steering.

“Cruise provides our company with a unique technology advantage that is unmatched in our industry,” says Mark Reuss, executive vice president of global product development, purchasing, and supply chain at GM. “We intend to invest significantly to further grow the talent base and capabilities already established by the Cruise team.”

Reuss says Cruise will operate as an independent unit within GM’s recently formed Autonomous Vehicle Development Team led by Doug Parks, vice president of autonomous technology and vehicle execution at GM. The company will continue to be based in 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,” says Kyle Vogt, founder and CEO of Cruise Automation. “We … believe this is a ground-breaking and necessary step toward rapidly commercializing autonomous vehicle technology.”

Reuss says the acquisition, expected to close in the second quarter of 2016, is the latest move by GM to further develop its autonomous and mobility driving technologies. In 2016, GM has partnered with Lyft, a ride-sharing company, and formed Maven, its personal mobility brand for car-sharing fleets in many U.S. cities. Maven launched in Ann Arbor last month.

IN OTHER GM NEWS, Valeo, a global auto supplier with its North American headquarter in Troy, was named a GM Supplier of the Year by General Motors during its 24th annual Supplier of the Year awards ceremony held Thursday at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Françoise Colpron, group president Valeo North America and Stephane Prince, regional operations director of Valeo Lighting Systems, accepted the award on behalf of Valeo.

GM recognized 110 of its best suppliers from 17 countries who have consistently exceeded GM’s expectations, created outstanding value, or brought new innovations to the company. This is the 11th time Valeo has received the award.