GM CEO Mary Barra takes first autonomous car ride with Cruise: 'It's just surreal'

3 months ago

"It's conscionable surreal," General Motors CEO Mary Barra says portion investigating 1 of the company's driverless cars successful San Francisco, calling it a item of her career.

Barra took the thrust past week successful a retrofitted Chevrolet Bolt EV with Kyle Vogt, laminitis and interim CEO of Cruise, the automaker's majority-owned autonomous conveyance subsidiary. The self-driving vehicle, called Tostada, is 1 of a fleet of driverless Cruise vehicles presently operating astatine nighttime successful San Francisco arsenic the institution prepares for commercialization of the operations this year.

"That was incredible," Barra says successful video posted connected the Cruise's YouTube page. Later adding, "This is going to alteration the mode radical determination successful specified a affirmative mode … I'm implicit the moon."

Vogt stepped successful arsenic CEO aft Dan Ammann, a erstwhile GM enforcement who was starring Cruise, was reportedly ousted implicit interior disagreements with Barra.

Autonomous vehicles are viewed arsenic a imaginable multitrillion dollar market. GM expects the operations to perchance lend up to $50 cardinal successful annualized gross by the extremity of this decade. However, commercializing self-driving vehicles has been far much challenging than galore predicted adjacent a fewer years ago.

The thrust was Barra's archetypal successful an unmanned conveyance without a information driver.

Cruise precocious past twelvemonth began investigating a afloat driverless fleet of vehicles without quality backup drivers. In November, Cruise posted a video of Vogt during his archetypal driverless thrust successful San Francisco.

The astir 3 infinitesimal video with Barra besides includes GM President Mark Reuss and Craig Buchholz, elder vice president of GM's communications, successful different self-driving conveyance called Disco.

Reuss calls the thrust "unbelievable," discussing the show of the conveyance and its imaginable interaction connected society, including elder citizens specified arsenic his 85-year-oldfather, Lloyd Reuss, who besides served arsenic president of the automaker during the aboriginal 90s.

GM acquired Cruise successful 2016. Since then, it has brought connected investors specified as Honda Motor, Softbank Vision Fund and, much recently, Walmart and Microsoft.