General Motors plans commercial, autonomous robot-taxi service by 2019

Gladys Abbott
December 4, 2017

Dan Ammann, President of General Motors (GM) told investors, the lifelong revenue generation from self-driving cars could reach up to the "several hundred thousands of dollars".

The automaker's president Dan Ammann reportedly said during the event that GM now makes about $30,000 per sold vehicle, but that it could make hundreds of thousands per vehicle through ride-hailing and delivery services. LIDAR technology uses light reflection to make high-resolution images to provide a clearer view of the road for cars, more so than cameras or radars, GM says.

Ford Motor Co.is targeting 2021 for the launch of its first fully autonomous vehicle, which would likely be rolled into a mobility service.

The company is already operating a fleet of self-driving Chevy Volt's in San Francisco, run by GM's autonomous driving subsidiary, Cruise Automation.

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.

In an announcement yesterday, the firm said it believes government regulations will support development of self driving cars in the coming few years.

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Waymo, which is the self-driving vehicle spinoff of Google, was the first company to take the driver from the seat on public roadways in early November.

Vogt said those issues would improve over time and that the victor of the self-driving vehicle race would be the one that first launches at "massive scale" rather than just being the first to market a model. An employee in the back will be able to stop the vehicle by pushing a button but won't be able to steer the vehicle.

GM didn't say exactly where it plans to launch its driverless ride-hailing service, but identified "dense urban environments" in the.

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. In the slides, GM estimates the autonomous vehicles will be used for commercial purposes.

As it refines the performance of its cars, GM has the capacity to rapidly build and deploy more self-driving vehicles to other markets around the world.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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