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GM Invests an Additional $1 Billion in Cruise Automation

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Fourth-Generation Cruise AV

GM’s efforts to develop autonomous vehicles just got a big boost in terms of funding

General Motors recently announced it will halt production of some underperforming models at five of its North American facilities to shift investments and resources toward its developing electric vehicles and autonomous technologies. What exactly does that investment look like?

According to GM’s earnings call for the third quarter, the automaker is spending approximately $1 billion on its Cruise Automation program this year.

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Stationed in San Francisco, Cruise Automation is GM’s ongoing effort to develop fully autonomous vehicles. The vehicles utilized by the program are primarily Chevy Bolts, the automaker’s latest EV.

The money GM is investing in Cruise for 2018 will help pay for hiring more engineers. While it’s likely that these new engineers will serve as additional staff, some could be replacing unforeseen departures from the program’s ranks. The funding will also facilitate the collection of data by the program’s various test vehicles.

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GM CEO Mary Barra stated that it would “be great” if the Cruise program came in under budget. However, she predicts that all of the money allocated toward the program may indeed be needed.

Fortunately for GM, they aren’t the only company helping to fund Cruise Automation. Fellow automaker Honda will also invest money in the program. Over the next 12 years, Honda plans on providing the Cruise Automation team with $2 billion in funding.

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GM received a unlikely benefactor in the form of Honda

SoftBank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate, is also investing in Cruise Automation. The company recently provided the autonomous vehicle program with $2.3 billion, acquiring 19.6 percent of the company during the process.

Developing autonomous vehicles will not be an inexpensive endeavor. It seems GM is more than willing to help foot the bill.

News Source: GM Authority