General Motors recently announced that the company will be bumping up its self-driving division. The automaker said that it is adding more than 1,100 in California for the next five years. The added manpower will work on the company's Cruise Automation division which develops self-driving technologies.
Prior to the announcement, General Motors received $8 million in state tax credits. Considered as the biggest automaker in the United States, GM said that it will invest $14 million in upgrading its research and development facility in San Francisco. Instead of building a completely new facility, GM will just upgrade its current facility in order to double its floor space in order to accommodate more researchers and engineers on site.
As part of its effort to boost its self-driving technology, GM acquired Cruise Automation in March 2016 for $1 billion. Despite being owned by General Motors, Cruise Automation still operates as an independent startup. The company is working as part of GM's Autonomous Vehicle Development Team.
In a statement acquired by , GM chief executive officer Mary Barra said, "Running our autonomous vehicle program as a startup is giving us the speed we need to continue to stay at the forefront of development of these technologies and the market applications."
GM is currently testing a fleet of 50 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles equipped with self-driving technology. The company is allowed to test on public roads in three separate locations: in San Francisco, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Detroit metropolitan area.
Traditional car manufacturers have been throwing their resources in order to take piece of the emerging autonomous car market. Car manufacturers have been working alongside notable tech companies in order to advance the development of autonomous cars on both software and hardware sides.