General Motors will continue to chase self-driving cars and associated technology, but even the automaker itself admitted its core business model of selling cars to drivers won’t change anytime soon. But, that doesn’t mean GM isn’t already plotting how to make its autonomous vehicles profitable.
GM looks at a cost-per-mile model as a major factor to achieve profitability, as reported by The Detroit News on Monday. In order to achieve profitability, a self-driving car will have to achieve an operating cost of $1 per mile. Right now, the cost is a few dollars more than that. The main factor is the technology’s cost, and as the cost for self-driving tech falls, GM will close in on profitability targets.
Earlier this year, GM announced it will deploy a self-driving taxi service sometime in 2019 in an undisclosed city to launch its autonomous vehicle fleet. When it does launch, the service likely won’t be profitable, but it will be a major stepping stone for the company in the pursuit of a profitable mobility service.