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General Motors : GM more than doubles self-driving car test fleet in California

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10/05/2017 | 03:55am CEST
The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Warren Transmission Operations Plant in Warren, Michigan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Co's (>> General Motors Corporation) self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, has more than doubled the size of its test fleet of robot cars in California during the past three months, a GM spokesman said on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Co's (>> General Motors Corporation) self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, has more than doubled the size of its test fleet of robot cars in California during the past three months, a GM spokesman said on Wednesday.

As the company increases the size of its test fleet, it has also reported more run-ins between its self-driving cars and human-operated vehicles and bicycles, telling California regulators its vehicles were involved in six minor crashes in the state in September.

"All our incidents this year were caused by the other vehicle," said Rebecca Mark, spokeswoman for GM Cruise.

In the past three months, the Cruise unit has increased the number of vehicles registered for testing on California streets to 100 from the previous 30 to 40, GM spokesman Ray Wert


Cruise is testing vehicles in San Francisco as part of its effort to develop software capable of navigating congested and often chaotic urban environments.

Investors are watching GM's progress closely, and the automaker's shares have risen 17 percent during the past month as some analysts have said the company could deploy robot taxis within the next year or two.

A U.S. Senate panel approved legislation on Wednesday that would allow automakers to greatly expand testing of self-driving cars. Some safety groups have objected to the proposal, saying it gives too much latitude to automakers.

As Cruise, and rivals, put more self-driving vehicles on the road to gather data to train their artificial intelligence systems, they are more frequently encountering human drivers who are not programmed to obey all traffic laws.

In filings to California regulators, Cruise said the six accidents in the state last month involved other cars and a bicyclist hitting its test cars.

The accidents did not result in injuries or serious damage, according to the GM reports. In total, GM Cruise vehicles have been involved in 13 collisions reported to California regulators in 2017, while Alphabet Inc's (>> Alphabet) Waymo vehicles have been involved in three crashes.

California state law requires that all crashes involving self-driving vehicles be reported, regardless of severity.

Most of the crashes involved drivers of other vehicles striking the GM cars that were slowing for stop signs, pedestrians or other issues. In one crash, a driver of a Ford Ranger was on his cellphone when he rear-ended a Chevrolet Bolt stopped at a red light.

In another instance, the driver of a Chevrolet Bolt noticed an intoxicated cyclist in San Francisco going the wrong direction towards the Bolt. The human driver stopped the Bolt and the cyclist hit the bumper and fell over. The bicyclist pulled on a sensor attached to the vehicle causing minor damage.

"While we look forward to the day when autonomous vehicles are commonplace, the streets we drive on today are not so simple, and we will continue to learn how humans drive and improve how we share the road together,” GM said in a statement on Wednesday.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Additional reporting by Joseph White in Detroit; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)

By David Shepardson

Stocks treated in this article : General Motors Corporation, Alphabet
Stocks mentioned in the article
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ALPHABET -0.01% 1169.29 Delayed Quote.11.00%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2018 146 B
EBIT 2018 11 310 M
Net income 2018 8 521 M
Finance 2018 4 960 M
Yield 2018 3,70%
P/E ratio 2018 6,62
P/E ratio 2019 6,43
EV / Sales 2018 0,36x
EV / Sales 2019 0,35x
Capitalization 58 131 M
Duration : Period :
General Motors Corporation Technical Analysis Chart | GM | US37045V1008 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 21
Average target price 48,4 $
Spread / Average Target 17%
EPS Revisions
Mary Teresa Barra Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Daniel Ammann President
Charles K. Stevens Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Randall D. Mott Chief Information Officer & Senior Vice President
Patricia Fiorello Russo Independent Director
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