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>> Look out Silicon Valley, auto giant General Motors just bought another piece that can speed up Detroit's push into self-driving cars. GM saying Friday it bought Cruise Automation, a San Francisco self-driving vehicle startup. In recent months, it's invested half a billion dollars in ride-hailing company Lyft, and launched a new car sharing brand, Maven.
Reuters US transportation editor Joe White.>> I was talking to one of the venture capital investors in the company who said that Cruise showed them an Audi A4 that they could basically control using a gaming console, essentially like a Playstation or something like that. So they had software and a certain amount of hardware that they were able to basically retrofit on a car.
Apparently lower cost than a lot of the hardware that you see in this space already.>> It's not just GM that's pouring cash into the field, most of the big car makers and new players from China are crowding into the self driving e-car companies here. Ford also saying on Friday that it's launching a new unit called Ford Smart Mobility to invest in transportation services.
So when will we see this self driving GM car on the road?>> That's not clear. I asked that question and the answer is as soon as possible, but we're not telling you when. There's work to do here. It's very difficult to have an autonomous car that functions in all weather and under all circumstances on the road.
You need pretty much still ideal conditions or else a really expensive autonomous vehicle system.>> GM isn't saying how much it paid for Cruise Automation, so exactly how red hot these startups are remains a bit of a mystery.