By Gary Gastelu
Published May 07, 2019
General Motors’ autonomous car operation is blowing up … in a good way.
The automaker announced on Tuesday the completion of a $1.15 billion investment round in its self-driving car subsidiary, GM Cruise LLC, that valued the company at $19 billion, or more than one-third the market capitalization of GM itself.
GM reportedly paid $1 billion or less in 2016 to take over the then-startup tech firm, which got a $2.75 billion investment from Honda in October and a total of $7.25 billion from various sources over the past year.
The company is currently focused on developing a self-driving version of the Chevrolet Bolt electric car, which will initially be deployed in a ride-hailing scheme.
"Developing and deploying self-driving vehicles at massive scale is the engineering challenge of our generation," Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said in a release announcing the news.
"Having deep resources to draw on as we pursue our mission is a critical competitive advantage."
Cruise is currently testing vehicles on the road in California that it plans to put into commercial use by the end of 2019 as it looks to compete with similar efforts from Waymo, Uber and Tesla. The company has petitioned the federal government to allow it to deploy cars without steering wheels or brakes, but has not yet received approval to do so.
The Associated Press contributed to this report