Self-Driving Car Model Seeks to Compete with Waymo
The efforts by General Motors to keep its Cruise self-driving car as a leading player in the autonomous car race got a pledge of $2.25 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund to ramp up production. SoftBank, based in Tokyo, will gain a 19.6% stake in Cruise, according to Wired.com.
The Cruise division will add 1,100 jobs over the next five years with the funds, if government regulators approve the deal. This is the largest upfront investment by a financial institution in the autonomous car area, according to the story.
Waymo, a division of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has been the leader in the autonomous car field, spending more time and money than any other competitor, but now its first-mover position is being threatened. It began working on the technology 10 years ago and is considered to have the most sophisticated system. Recently the company announced it would be launching an automated car service in Arizona this fall, according to VentureBeat.com.
Waymo signed a deal to buy 20,000 Jaguar I-Pace SUVs over the next five years to add to its fleet of 600 Chrysler Pacifica minivans. It announced plans to add another 62,000 of the minivans to its fleet in a deal with Chrysler.
read more at Wired.com