Sunday, 17 December, 2017

GM Wants to Launch a Full-Scale Autonomous Ride-Sharing Service in 2019

GM expects to launch autonomous ride-sharing within 2 years Super confident GM says its driverless cars will hit city streets by 2019
Kenneth Drake | 04 December, 2017, 01:50

"We think this represents one of the biggest business opportunities of all time, since the creation of the Internet, " Dan Ammann, GM's president and chief of autonomous vehicle strategy, told investors.

According to the company, based on the current rate of change, the "commercial launch at scale" is expected in heavily traveled urban environments in 2019. Earlier this month, GM said it would launch a range of electric vehicles in 2021 in a direct challenge to market leader Tesla, which is struggling to ramp up its more affordable, high-volume Model 3.

Delphi, an automotive supplier, said it expects its autonomous system to power commercial vehicles in limited areas in 2019. GM said there still was much more hard engineering work to do.

GM is one of several companies that have announced plans to put self-driving vehicles on the road within a few years.

Vogt said those issues would improve over time and that the victor of the self-driving vehicle race would be the one that first launches at "massive scale" rather than just being the first to market a model.


Google's Waymo division will soon start testing self-driving vehicles in Phoenix without a backup driver in the front seat. An employee in the back will be able to stop the vehicle by pushing a button but won't be able to steer the vehicle. Delphi recently bought autonomous software startup NuTonomy and is also partnering with BMW AG, chipmaker Intel Corp. and camera and visual recognition software maker Mobileye.

GM didn't say exactly where it plans to launch its driverless ride-hailing service, but identified "dense urban environments" in the.

The company is already operating a fleet of self-driving Chevy Volt's in San Francisco, run by GM's autonomous driving subsidiary, Cruise Automation.

GM is far from the only traditional automaker investing in autonomous technology and ride-hailing services. GM CFO Chuck Stevens said autonomous ride sharing could be "potentially bigger than our current core business, with better margins".

The No. 1 United States automaker - which views electric and autonomous vehicles as the keystones of future transport - has been focused on rolling out self-driving cars since its estimated $US1 billion ($F2b) acquisition of startup Cruise Automation in early 2016 that provided a toehold in the nascent industry.

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