General Motors’ Cruise Automation subsidiary said last month it plans to double its staff as the automaker throws more resources at self-driving car technology. Said expansions have begun with the company looking for 20 new hires at its new Pasadena, California, office.
According to Pasadena Business Now, GM Cruise is looking for the 20 new employees in addition to its current staff of 30. This past February, Cruise Automation leased new office space where the team is largely focused on lidar development. Lidar is the technology that, for all intents and purposes, allows a self-driving car to “see” the world around it. The system uses lasers and light to measure distance and calculate how far away an object is.
Lidar is one crucial component to self-driving cars, although competitors such as Tesla remain firm that cameras will be sufficient in the future.
The Pasadena office works to commercialize lidar and make it part of a production self-driving car. GM’s Orion Township plant currently assembles prototype autonomous vehicles for Cruise, which are based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Despite the increase in staff for the Pasadena office, self-driving cars aren’t planned for the area yet. Instead, San Francisco and Southern California are target areas for a future self-driving car service. Lute Maleki, a senior engineer for Cruise, said Southern California is conducive to its plans for a future service. It’s likely he’s alluding to the area’s warm and overall dry weather. We’ve yet to see self-driving cars tackle more extreme weather conditions like heavy rain, fog, and snow.
It’s unclear if GM will meet its self-imposed deadline to deploy self-driving cars this year. GM maintained it would commercialize self-driving cars in 2019, though a rather damning report said nothing is on schedule inside of Cruise last year.
Source: Pasadena Business Now