To further advance autonomous vehicle technology, General Motors is investing $14 million in a new research and development facility for Cruise Automation in San Francisco, the automaker said.
GM acquired Cruise Automation in March 2016 to strengthen the company’s software development capabilities and accelerate development of self-driving vehicles.
“Expanding our team at Cruise Automation and linking them with our global engineering talent is another important step in our work to redefine the future of personal mobility,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Self-driving technology holds enormous benefits to society in the form of increased safety and access to transportation. Running our autonomous vehicle program as a start-up is giving us the speed we need to continue to stay at the forefront of development of these technologies and the market applications.”
Cruise Automation and GM engineers are currently testing more than 50 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles with self-driving technology on public roads in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and metro Detroit.
The new investment will include repurposing an existing facility in San Francisco that will more than double Cruise Automation’s research and development space. The Cruise Automation team plans to move into the new space by the end of the year and hire more than 1,100 new employees over the course of the next five years.
“We are excited to significantly expand our footprint in California and continue on our rapid growth trajectory,” said Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise Automation. “As autonomous car technology matures, our company’s talent needs will continue to increase. Accessing the world-class talent pool that the San Francisco Bay Area offers is one of the many reasons we plan to grow our presence in the state.”
California Governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) allocated an $8 million tax credit to GM Cruise for this expansion. The incentive was approved by the California Competes Tax Credit Committee at a meeting in Sacramento.