GM’s top officials made the declaration today during a call with investors. The business recently allowed journalists to take rides in its independent test cars through the congested streets of San Francisco. Most announced that the car handled most conditions proficiently, with a few hiccups.
But GM is clearly feeling pressure to fast-track its self-driving taxi service, especially in light of recent advancements like Alphabet’s Waymo deploying its fleet of independent minivans in Arizona without a personal driver behind the wheel.
Waymo’s technology may be more radical than GM’s, and its cars may have racked up more miles of practice, but GM has been on a buying binge as it seeks to shore up its position in both autonomous and electric vehicle increase. Last month, Cruise, the self-driving unit of GM, said that it would buy Strobe, a startup that performs LIDAR sensors that help independent vehicles “see” their surroundings. The cruise itself was obtained last year for over half a billion dollars.
The race to deploy an advertisement, self-driving product pits GM against untraditional players like Waymo and Uber. Uber has self-driving transports ferrying passengers in Pittsburgh and Phoenix but has yet to say when it plans to start monetizing its service. Waymo intends to start shepherding customers in its fully driverless minivans no safety driver within the next few months, but that will only be possible to a very limited group of customers. GM is unique in its statement that it will have a scalable business product in just two years.
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