Thursday, 20 June 2019 17:51

GM Stands by Cruise’s Cautious Strategy Amid Tesla’s Self-Driving Push

Written by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati.com
GM Cruise’s autonomous cars are capable of running safely at around 30 mph. GM Cruise’s autonomous cars are capable of running safely at around 30 mph. GM Cruise


She also mentioned that GM Cruise’s autonomous cars were already capable of running safely at around 30 mph, though the service was limited to a small area.


GM eventually softened its stance on its 2019 target release. In a statement to The Detroit News in April, GM said Cruise’s driverless taxi service would be “gated by safety” when it goes get deployed. A report from The Information published this June also suggested that in April, GM Cruise’s full self-driving technology experienced a massive failure in the presence of Honda Motor CEO Takahiro Hachigo, a major investor in the company. During the demo, the vehicle’s autonomous driving system reportedly stopped, forcing the car’s backup driver to take control. The vehicle then refused to reactivate, forcing the Honda CEO to wait until he was picked up by an operational GM Cruise autonomous car.


Amidst these reports, Barra did not commit to a launch date for the company’s driverless vehicle service. Nevertheless, in her Axios interview, Barra said she does not regret the company’s aggressive 2019 target. “It’s a rallying cry. And I think it’s been motivational,” she said.


While GM Cruise might have less real-world miles compared to Tesla and Waymo, the self-driving unit of the Detroit-based carmaker has attracted a notable number of investors nonetheless. In its latest fundraising round alone, GM Cruise was valued at $19 billion on its own. That’s quite impressive, considering the company’s progress with its technology so far. Tesla, on the other hand, is valued at $39 billion as of writing, and that covers the company’s electric vehicle and energy storage business, as well as its self-driving technology. This was addressed in a previous note from Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, who noted that TSLA investors are “undervaluing” the company’s autonomous driving systems. “We believe investors underappreciate/undervalue Tesla’s Autonomy business. Many investors to whom we speak do not explicitly include Tesla’s Autonomy business in their valuation of the company,” Jonas said.


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