GM sees self-driving vehicles in cities in 2019 (GM)

GM sees self-driving vehicles in cities in 2019 (GM)

GM sees self-driving vehicles in cities in 2019 (GM)

Having a driverless ride-hailing service to use as a framework, GM will count on reduction in costs, autonomous technologies advancing, and growth in the rail-hailing market that will enable it to successfully launch a self-driving vehicle during 2019, said Dan Ammann the president of GM during Thursday's San Francisco investor event hosted by GM. As the No. 1 automaker in the U.S., GM has stayed on top of smart automation and has touted electric and autonomous vehicles as "keystones of future transport", according to Reuters.

GM's robotic taxi roadmap is shorter than that of rival Ford, which has previously said it will have a commercial vehicle produced without a steering wheel or pedals by 2021. LIDAR technology uses light reflection to make high-resolution images to provide a clearer view of the road for cars, more so than cameras or radars, GM says. GM CFO Chuck Stevens said autonomous ride sharing could be "potentially bigger than our current core business, with better margins".

Because GM has software and sensor development, as well as manufacturing, it can roll out autonomous vehicles cheaper than competitors, the company said. Those tests are taking place in San Francisco, Detroit, and Phoenix.

That will help to drive the consumer to adopt it, which is vastly important to achieving profitability.

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Apparently, the most likely location for launching this service first is in San Francisco, where the self-driving Bolts already have a lot of experience.

The No.1 USA automaker - which views electric and autonomous vehicles as the keystones of future transport - said it believes government regulations will support development of self driving cars in the coming few years.

Waymo, which is the self-driving vehicle spinoff of Google, was the first company to take the driver from the seat on public roadways in early November. GM says the cost of the next-generation lidar will be cut by about half to $10,000. The autonomous vehicle team at Cruise is growing by roughly 900 employees to 2,100 workers by early 2018.

"General Motors" executives clearly showed their sense of urgency to lead the autonomous vehicle market", Michelle Krebs, an analyst for AutoTrader, said in a statement. The stock slipped 0.8 percent to $43.44 as of 12:20 p.m. Thursday in NY.

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