General Motors Pledges Driverless Fleets in 2019

General Motors Pledges Driverless Fleets in 2019

General Motors' announced yesterday that it plans to introduce an autonomous ride-sharing service to several big cities in 2019.

Some of GM's share surge has come from investors betting on its investments in self-driving and electric cars, although the company's profits are driven entirely by demand for trucks and SUVs in North America, and its growing sales in China.

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.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, there are about 100 test Bolts (with a human inside) already driving autonomously around crowded San Francisco - a challenging environment considering the bustling streets rife with avid bikers, trolleys, and traffic.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker - which views electric and autonomous vehicles as the keystones of future transport - has been focused on rolling out self-driving cars since its estimated $US1 billion ($F2b) acquisition of startup Cruise Automation in early 2016 that provided a toehold in the nascent industry.

American Airlines computer glitch could cause your flight to be canceled
The airline claims to have fixed the glitch, Gizmodo reported , but it remains to be seen how many flights between December 17-31 will get canceled.

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. Once they're on the road, the vehicles' computers will constantly learn and improve. 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. Delphi recently bought autonomous software startup NuTonomy and is also partnering with BMW AG, chipmaker Intel Corp. and camera and visual recognition software maker Mobileye.

GM's robotic taxi roadmap is shorter than that of rival Ford, which has previously said it will have a commercial auto produced without a steering wheel or pedals by 2021. It announced in November that it would launch a self-driving robo-taxi service in suburban Phoenix, carrying its first passengers in the next few months.

Google's Waymo, German automaker Daimler and Ford are also developing self-driving cars that would be available for ride-sharing services. Ammann said GM is in the lead to deploy the vehicles in large numbers.

GM says operating its self-driving cars will cost 40 percent less per mile than other ride-hailing firms that have to pay drivers.

GM stock fell 72 cents to $43.09 at market close Thursday.

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