GM Just Spent $1.3 Billion Buying A Self-Driving Car Startup Called Cruise

Over the weekend, General Motors went on a bit of a spending spree: as part of the growing suite of self-driving car companies that it has purchased, GM can now call San Francisco-based Cruise Automation its own. The two-year-old startup cost GM -- one of the world's oldest, largest, and most storied automotive brands -- a cool US$1 billion.

Recode covers how Cruise Automation was developed from the ground up from an idea to a working prototype, and before its buyout by GM was offering its first consumer device for sale. The RP-1 was a US$10,000, roof-mounted sensor package, with connected PC for processing sensor data in the boot, and steering augmentations designed specifically for the previous-generation Audi A4.

There are still plenty of jobs going at Cruise, including in the fields of machine learning and computer vision -- two areas where autonomous driving has come a long way recently with the help of companies like MobileEye and Nvidia. CEO of Cruise, Kyle Vogt, didn't want to comment on the acquisition -- beyond a quick tweet:



    Since self driving cars are now becoming a thing now, I'm starting to struggle with the idea that a self driving car is still considered a "car" When you think about it, you might as well have a box like object that drives itself, so why does it need to look like a car?, a self driving car technically is not a "car" anymore, classing it as a car will by default create design restrictions in the future.

    tl;dr - In order for innovation self driving cars should not be considered a car anymore.

    Last edited 14/03/16 3:33 pm

      There are some pretty innovative designs I've seen for "robot cars" as I prefer to call them. One design I really liked was all the passengers facing each other with a table in the middle so you can have some family time or a meeting if its work related while getting to your destination.

      Of course the average punter still thinks the idea of a driverless car to be too dangerous, obviously they don't realise cars kill more people than guns. Even in the US!!

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