GM doubles autonomous test fleet in California, acquires lidar company

October 9, 2017  - By

GM’s Cruise Autonomous test car.

General Motors Co.’s (GM) self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, has more than doubled the size of its test fleet of robot cars in California during the past three months, a GM spokesman told Reuters.

The unit is testing vehicles in San Francisco as part of its effort to develop software capable of navigating congested and often chaotic urban environments.

GM has reported more run-ins between its self-driving cars and human-operated vehicles and bicycles. Its vehicles were involved in six minor crashes in September, all of which were caused by the other vehicle.

In the past three months, the Cruise unit has increased the number of vehicles registered for testing on California streets to 100 from the previous 30 to 40.

Lidar acquisition. GM announced Oct. 9 that it has acquired lidar technology company Strobe. Strobe’s engineering talent joins GM’s Cruise Automation team to define and develop next-generation lidar solutions for self-driving vehicles.

In September, Cruise Automation revealed the world’s first mass-producible car designed with the redundancy and safety requirements necessary to operate without a driver. The vehicle will join Cruise’s testing fleets in San Francisco, metropolitan Phoenix and Detroit.

Lidar uses light to create high-resolution images that provide a more accurate view of the world than cameras or radar alone. As self-driving technology continues to evolve, lidar’s accuracy will play a critical role in its deployment.


About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.