Cruise Automation will expand its research and development space It will add the extra workers over the next 5 years.

Autonomous tech is one of the quickest evolving segments in the modern auto industry, and General Motors is showing its dedication to being on the cutting edge by investing $14 million to build a new development facility for Cruise Automation for advancing self-driving vehicles. The funds include an $8 million tax credit from California to GM.

Cruise Automation will use the investment in part for doubling the size of an existing facility for increasing room for research and development. The company will aim to have the new space ready by the end of 2017. Over 1,1,00 workers will join the company over the next five years. 

Chevy Bolt autonomous test car

“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.

GM bought Cruise Automation in March 2016 as a way to jumpstart the automaker’s autonomous driving technology. At the time of the acquisition, Cruise Automation had just 40 employees. Since then, the business has helped GM in its development of autonomous Chevrolet Bolts that have been spotted testing in San Francisco and in Michigan. The company has even released video from the cabin showing the vehicles ability to function in real-world urban traffic.

Autonomous Chevy Bolt spy photo

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GM wants to have a fully autonomous system ready by the end of the decade, but some folks might get to experience the self-driving vehicles even sooner. The General and Lyft partnered in 2016 to create a piloted ride-hailing service, and they have reportedly set a goal to have thousands of driverless Bolts on the road by 2018.

Cruise, Lyft, and GM need to be careful about how they roll out these self-driving ride-hailing vehicles. Uber has had several setbacks in launching a competing service. First, a film showed one of its autonomous Volvos running a red light, and more recently a crash in Tempe, Arizona, forced a temporary halt for the entire program.

Source: General Motors

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