“Nothing is on Schedule” at Cruise Automation, Says GM Source

Despite large cash injections and the hopes of GM’s stock price being pinned on it, Cruise Automation is still suffering numerous setbacks, threatening GM’s chances as a big player in the automation game.

“Nothing is on schedule,” a source told Reuters in a recent report. The same report claims that Cruise’s autonomous test vehicle struggles to identify whether or not objects on the road are moving or not, causing it to hesitate and stop erratically.

This squares with a report that GM Inside News posted late last year. In that, we looked into the 22 accidents that the test vehicle had been in in 2017 and a pattern of twitchy and unpredictable braking emerged.

And Cruise has been missing milestones all over. The company missed its goal of a million miles per month, human passengers still have to take over too much, and employees report that Cruise’s software is experiencing delays that slow transmission of information from the car’s sensors to its brain.

GM’s higher-ups promise, though, that these problems are under control.

“Early in development I’m sure there were phases where we were putting systems together where they didn’t meet the requirements we needed for launch, and that’s part of the testing and development process,” said Kyle Vogt, Cruise’s CEO. “Based on where we’re at and where we’ve been, we’re on track to hit [our 2019 goals].”

Although it’s not a promising sign for GM, they, at least, aren’t alone. “Everyone in the industry is becoming more nervous that they will waste billions of dollars, Klaus Froehlich, from BMW, told Reuters.

But the importance of being among the first to introduce autonomous vehicles is clear to GM President, Dan Ammann. “Right now we are in a race to the starting line,” he said.

[source: Reuters]

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