GM-backed Cruise buys self-driving startup Voyage
General Motors’ self-driving subsidiary Cruise has decided to acquire Voyage, an autonomous driving vehicle startup that operates in retirement communities. The acquisition is an addition to the ongoing consolidation in the self-driving vehicle segment across the world. However, both the companies are tightlipped about the cost of the Cruise-Voyage deal.
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Voyage CEO Oliver Cameron has announced the deal in a blog post. He will join Cruise as Vice President of Product. Cameron has also said that key members of Voyage’s technology team will be working on Cruise Origin, the dedicated self-driving shuttle of the company. A majority of the autonomous driving technology startup’s 60 employees are likely to join Cruise, as revealed by a spokesperson of the company.
Several mainstream automakers across the world have been working on self-driving technology. Besides the frontrunners like Volvo and Tesla, General Motors too is a part of the race. The company holds the most of the share in Cruise that has remained at the front row of the self-driving technology research and development since GM acquired the company in 2016. Among other investors of the Cruise are Honda Motor Company, SoftBank Vision Fund, Microsoft etc.
Currently, Cruise has more than 200 vehicles in its registered testing fleet of autonomous vehicles. However, the company is yet to announce its plans to offer the robotaxis to the public in San Francisco. With the acquisition of Voyage, the R&D of autonomous vehicle technologies will certainly gain further momentum.
While companies such as Uber Technologies have already given up on developing indigenous autonomous driving technology, several other companies in the sector have been pushing hard to develop the next phase of the technology through the merger and acquisition route. For example, Zoox has been sold to Amazon. In the self-driving technology sector, Alphabet’s Waymo remains the most high-profile company with a publicly operational vehicle fleet in Arizona.