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GM's Self-Driving Cars Could Hit The Roads By 2019

04 December 2017

GM considers autonomous vehicles the "biggest business opportunity since the creation of the internet", a market with with multitrillion-dollar potential that goes hand-in-hand with electric vehicles.

"If we continue on our current rate of change, we will be ready to deploy this technology, in large scale, in the most complex environments, in 2019", said Ammann on a conference call. 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.

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.

But GM, despite its vast experience in the traditional automotive sector, has its work cut out to catch upstart technology companies like Waymo and Uber.

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

GM subsidiary Cruise Automation has been testing autonomous Chevy Bolts in San Francisco, Phoenix and Detroit. By getting out there first, GM hopes to ride a rapid cost and technology improvement curve that will leave the competition far behind....

Waymo, which is Google's self-driving vehicle spinoff, was the first to take the driver out of the seat on public roadways earlier this month. An employee in the back seat will be able to stop the vehicle by pushing a button but won't be able to steer the vehicle.

GM did not say where it will be launching its autonomous ride-hailing service.

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GM, which invested $500 million in Lyft in 2016, says it sees a "clear path" to reducing the cost-per-mile of ride-sharing services to under $1 by 2025.

Google's Waymo, German automaker Daimler and Ford are also developing self-driving cars that would be available for ride-sharing services. However this announcement helps to solidify the industry speculation that autonomous vehicles will eventually be the sole vessels for ride-hailing services - and, if done strategically, automakers like GM can highly profit from the shift.

The automaker says it's focused on deploying self-driving vehicles safely, but it also wants to beat rivals to market.

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GM's Self-Driving Cars Could Hit The Roads By 2019