GM's Self-Driving Cars to Be Ready for Ride-Sharing in 2019

GM's Self-Driving Cars to Be Ready for Ride-Sharing in 2019

The cars have a back up driver in case something goes wrong, but it is possible the back up drivers would be eliminated when the commercial launch happens in over a year. GM does have a division dedicated to mobility services, Maven, but it focuses primarily on auto sharing, not ride-hailing.

Company executives didn't say how many vehicles GM would deploy or what cities they would be in, but they were clear that the company plans to run ride-hailing and delivery services and quickly make money off them - at higher profit margins than it now makes from selling cars and trucks. GM believes it's too early to discuss branding, but the first cars will likely be versions of the Chevy Bolt EVs Cruise is testing now.

Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens reportedly said that, "This business is potentially bigger than our current core business". GM added that there was still much more hard engineering work to be done. Instead of testing its vehicles on a closed course or in a "simple suburban setting", Wert said, the company has opted to test the vehicles in an environment that resembles where they'll actually be deployed. "While the vehicle drove conservatively (i.e., taking time, strictly obeying speed limits, checking carefully at both sides before turning at an intersection), we'd also note that the driving environment was quite complex". Waymo plans to announce a commercial service 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.

'General framework' in place with both Giants, Cardinals on Stanton deal
Although this news makes a Stanton trade seem imminent, it's important to remember that he remains in control of his destiny. Sunday, Jon Paul Morosi of MLB Network reported the Marlins indeed agreed to trade frameworks with the Giants and Cardinals.

GM President Dan Ammann said the first commercial use of EVs would be in ride-sharing.

Barra said the biggest opportunities for self-driving cars would initially be on the East and West Coasts.

GM says operating its self-driving cars will cost 40 percent less per mile than other ride-hailing firms that have to pay drivers. This is greater than GM's average revenue of $30,000, generated from initial sales.

Tesla, which now sells electric cars with some autonomous features, but says they already contain the hardware to one day be fully autonomous, also has its eyes on running a driverless taxi service in the coming years, provided by owners' cars operating while they are at work, asleep or on holiday. The stock slipped 0.8 percent to $43.44 as of 12:20 p.m. Thursday in NY.

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