General Motors poised to launch self-driving ride-hailing service by 2019

Updated 2017-12-01 17:01:55 Xinhua

U.S. automaker General Motors (GM) unveiled an ambitious plan Thursday to debut its first self-driving ride-hailing service in major U.S. cities including San Francisco by 2019.

"If we continue on our current rate of change, we will be ready to deploy this technology, in large scale, in the most complex environments, in 2019," GM president Dan Ammann said at a business conference.

The 109-year-old U.S. automaker regards driverless vehicles as the biggest business opportunity after the creation of the Internet.

It has focused on rolling out self-driving cars since the automaking giant acquired startup company Cruise Automation in early 2016 for an estimated 1 billion U.S. dollars and made it the cornerstone of its self-driving thrust.

Local media reports said GM plans to offer its ride-hailing service for about 1.5 dollars a mile (1.6 km) and even 1 dollar a mile in a short period of time, which will be far less than the costs of 2 to 3 dollars a mile charged by most existing market players such as Uber or Lyft in San Francisco.

Currently, California law requires that all self-driving cars in San Francisco, a tourist city on the west coast of the United States, operate with a backup driver.

"We don't see (regulations) as an impediment to wide-scale deployment," Ammann said, adding that safety will ultimately be the deciding factor on when to take the driver out of the car.

GM has faced huge challenges regarding the robot-taxi service in less than two years as have many other companies, such as arch-rival Ford and Uber, who are also considering bringing a self-driving car into the market.

GM now has a total workforce of 1,200 people working on its self-driving cars.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58July 19 2018 10:08:16

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16July 19 2018 10:08:16

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18July 19 2018 10:08:16

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords