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GM Investing $14M in New Autonomous Tech Site for Cruise Automation

Maker planning to add 1,100 new jobs.

by on Apr.17, 2017

The race to bring the first fully autonomous vehicle to market is heating up. GM spent $1 billion to acquire Cruise Automation as part of their effort.

General Motors is preparing add more than 1,100 jobs and invest $14 million in a new research and development facility for Cruise Automation in San Francisco.

The investments, which are part of the $600 million GM has set aside this year to fund automated vehicles, will allow Cruise Automation to expand development of self-driving technologies.

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“Expanding our team at Cruise Automation and linking them with our global engineering talent is another important step in our work to redefine the future of personal mobility,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

“Self-driving technology holds enormous benefits to society in the form of increased safety and access to transportation. Running our autonomous vehicle program as a start-up is giving us the speed we need to continue to stay at the forefront of development of these technologies and the market applications,” she added.

Cruise Automation and GM engineers are currently testing more than 50 Chevrolet Bolt EVs with self-driving technology on public roads in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and metro Detroit.

(GM quadruples spending on autonomous vehicles. Click Herefor the story.)

GM is investing $14 million into a new facility for autonomous driving development for Cruise Automation in San Francisco.

IEEE Spectrum, the online magazine of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, reported last week that GM has plans to increase the number of automated vehicles on the road to 300. The report cited documents GM filed with the Federal Communications Commission, which must approve the use of the radio bands for vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

GM’s new investment in Cruise Automation will include repurposing an existing facility in San Francisco that will more than double the company’s research and development space. The Cruise Automation team plans to move into the new space by the end of the year and hire more than 1,100 new employees over the course of the next five years.

GM CFO Chuck Stevens told analysts recently that GM has delegated responsibility for development of the self-driving technology to Cruise. In fact, he said support for Cruise’s research will reach roughly $150 million per quarter in 2017.

(Caddy going hands-free in 2018 launch of Super Cruise. Click Here for the story.)

“We are excited to significantly expand our footprint in California and continue on our rapid growth trajectory,” said Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise Automation. “As autonomous car technology matures, our company’s talent needs will continue to increase. Accessing the world-class talent pool that the San Francisco Bay Area offers is one of the many reasons we plan to grow our presence in the state.”

California Governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) allocated an $8 million tax credit to GM Cruise for this expansion. The incentive was approved by the California Competes Tax Credit Committee at a meeting in Sacramento.

“GM’s investment is further proof that California is leading the nation in the design, engineering and deployment of autonomous vehicles,” said Panorea Avdis, director of the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

(For more on a new study showing what automaker is leading in autonomous tech, Click Here.)

GM acquired Cruise Automation in March 2016 to strengthen the company’s software development capabilities and accelerate development of self-driving vehicle technology.

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