Self-driving cars are the future, and they’re coming soon. At least, that’s what the big automakers would like us to believe. As it stands, it’s still unclear whether fully autonomous cars will be a reality any time soon.
However, Honda and GM have partnered to bring just that to mass market. This week, Honda announced plans to invest billions in GM’s Cruise program.
Honda and GM Partner on Cruise
This week, Honda unveiled plans to invest nearly $3 billion in GM’s autonomous initiative, Cruise. Cruise’s stated goal is to create autonomous vehicles that can be used in a variety of ways. They can be seen as a competitor with companies like Waymo and Tesla.
Honda Executive Vice President and Representative Director COO Seiji Kuraishi spoke in a statement this week regarding the investment. “Honda chose to collaborate with Cruise and General Motors based on their leadership in autonomous and electric vehicle technology and our shared vision of a zero-emissions and zero-collision world,” Kuraishi explained.
Further, Kuraishi stated “We will complement their strengths through our expertise in space efficiency and design to develop the most desirable and effective shared autonomous vehicle.” This partnership shows a remarkable interest on the part of Honda to keep up with Chinese and American automakers who are pushing the envelope with self-driving technology.
Cruise’s flagship project is the Cruise AV. GM has stated that they want the Cruise AV to hit mass-market by 2019. The production effort was well underway before Honda began investment. Recently, in March of 2018, GM announced it would be investing $100 million to upgrade two Michigan-based plants to produce the AV’s. One of those plants is already used to create the Chevy Bolt, an all-electric vehicle.
The push for electric AV’s has grown more urgent in the last few years. Currently, most major automakers have some manner of AV or self-driving car on the horizon. Everyone from Ford to GM seems to be investing in these “cars of the future.” Time will tell whether AV’s bear out to be the way of the future.