General Motors is one of a handful of companies and automakers vying for victory in the self-driving car space. At a meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the automaker said it’s time to make its autonomous vision a reality.
Mark Reuss, GM product chief, told attendees, “There’s a lot of action around [self-driving cars] at General Motors, I assure you. And we’ve certainly talked about it. Now it’s time to make it happen.” The Detroit News reported on Monday that Reuss’ comments came as the industry and SAE begins to carve out levels of autonomy and deals with other areas such as policy and public safety.
The latter was likely a hot topic following news that an Uber-operated self-driving Volvo struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, last month.
GM has stayed the course following the incident and its plans to commercialize self-driving cars next year remain unchanged. GM wants to deploy its self-driving cars, engineered with Cruise Automation, in 2019 in an undisclosed city. It would be the first network of self-driving cars on the market, potentially for a ride-sharing service.
Former GM executive Bob Lutz was also in attendance, and he too addressed attendees. He underscored how different the automotive landscape will look in 20 years, in his vision, and said self-driving cars will blend in with other urban transportation options. Lutz has been outspoken about the death of the traditional automobile.