GM Earnings This Week to Shed Light on Big Investments

Google’s founders began investing in self-driving late last decade, about the time GM and Carnegie Mellon’s autonomous vehicle program was under way. GM’s effort was led in part by CMU’s Chris Urmson, who is now the technical director of Google’s car project. He was demonstrating the fruits of initial research in a project funded by the Department of Defense. Since that Defense Department project, GM has spent $60 billion on research and development, or 34% more than Google during the same period. Then, earlier this year GM President Dan Ammann showed up on Cruise’s doorstep ready to cut a big check. While not nearly as experienced as Google, Cruise logged time on public roads and was readying a $10,000 autopilot system people could plug into an Audi sedan.