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GM-backed Cruise to buy self-driving start-up Voyage

Yacht Chief Technology Officer Kyle Vogt (left) with Voyage CEO Oliver Cameron, who will join Journey as part of an acquisition of the company.

Voyage

General Motors’ majority-owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise has agreed to obtain Voyage, a self-driving car start-up that operated in retirement communities.

The companies, which didn’t disclose the terms of the huge quantity, announced it Monday in a blog post by Voyage CEO Oliver Cameron, who will join Cruise as vice president of effect. Cruise spokesman Ray Wert declined to comment on the cost of the deal.

It’s unclear how long Cruise will continue driving in the retirement communities. Wert said the “communities in which they operate are not on our immediate roadmap.” Instead, Cruise is spotlighted on launching a robotaxi business in San Francisco. A majority of Voyage’s 60 employees are expected to join Cruise, Wert suggested.

“Voyage is tightly aligned to our mission, and shares our mindset around safety, accessibility, cost and convenience for customers,” Wert imparted in an email. “Their talented team is highly productive and resourceful, with direct experience in developing a full-stack AV dissolving that will help accelerate our efforts to build the world’s most advanced self-driving vehicles.”

The acquisition combines to an ongoing consolidation in the autonomous vehicle sector after years of enthusiasm touting the technology as the next multitrillion market-place for transportation companies. Some companies, such as Uber Technologies, have given up on developing the systems in-house, while others such as Zoox sold to Amazon. Alphabet’s Waymo persists the most high-profile front-runner, operating a public autonomous vehicle fleet in Arizona.

Cruise has remained steadfast in its check-up since being acquired by GM in 2016. It has grown its registered testing fleet to more than 200 vehicles but hasn’t yet asseverated when it plans to offer a robotaxi fleet to the public in San Francisco. It initially planned to do so in 2019.

Other investors in Cruise now count Honda Motor, SoftBank Vision Fund, Microsoft and others.

The Cruise-Voyage deal remains subject to customary end conditions.

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