General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and the Self Driving Car

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and the Self Driving Car

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and the Self Driving Car

Regulators will “carefully and responsibly” review General Motors’ request to test an autonomous car without a steering wheel, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Sunday.

“It is now coming to the stage with the rapid advancement of self-driving technology that this request is now a reality,” Chao said on the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show.

“So we will view the petition carefully and responsibly.”​

GM on Friday unveiled the Cruise AV, an autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals, announcing it had asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to exempt it from a number of federal standards that cannot be met with a driverless car.

GM executives have said they planned to introduce a large-scale fleet of self-driving taxis by 2019, a timeframe some analysts consider ambitious.

GM released images of the Cruise AV and video of the interior with a strikingly spacious windshield devoid of a steering wheel.

“It’s quite a striking image when people see it for the first time,” GM president Dan Ammann told AFP on the sidelines of a GM event Saturday.

“I think people will want to engage with the technology and understand it and experience it,” Ammann said.

“But I think what’s really most powerful about what the technology can offer is an increase in safety on the road. And once people understand that and see and experience it, we think the adoption will be there.”

“Its hard to generalize” about whether the public is ready for autonomous cars, Ammann said. “Some people are more than ready. And other people will be watching and seeing how it evolves.”

General Motors Company, incorporated on August 11, 2009, designs, builds and sells cars, trucks, crossovers and automobile parts. The Company’s segments include GM North America (GMNA), GM Europe (GME), GM International Operations (GMIO), GM South America (GMSA) and General Motors Financial Company, Inc. (GM Financial). The Company provides automotive financing services through General Motors Financial Company, Inc. The Company develops, manufactures and/or markets vehicles in North America under the brands, including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. The Company also develops, manufactures and/or markets vehicles outside North America under the brands, including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Opel and Vauxhall.

The Company has interests in entities through various regional subsidiaries, primarily in Asia. These entities design, manufacture and/or market vehicles under the brands, including Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang and Wuling. In addition to the vehicles the Company sells through its dealer network to retail customers, the Company also sells vehicles directly or through its dealer network to fleet customers, including daily rental car companies, commercial fleet customers, leasing companies and governments. The Company offers a range of after-sale vehicle services and products through the dealer network, such as maintenance, light repairs, collision repairs, vehicle accessories and extended service warranties. The Company’s subsidiary, OnStar, LLC (OnStar), is a provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions, and information technology. OnStar’s services include automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance, remote door unlock, turn-by-turn navigation, vehicle diagnostics, hands-free calling and fourth-generation (4G) long-term evolution (LTE) wireless connectivity.

GM Financial is an automotive finance company and is a provider of automobile finance solutions. GM Financial provides retail loan and lease lending across the credit spectrum. Additionally, GM Financial offers commercial products to dealers that include new and used vehicle inventory financing, inventory insurance, working capital, capital improvement loans and storage center financing. The Company markets vehicles around the world primarily through a network of authorized retail dealers. These outlets include distributors, dealers and authorized sales, service and parts outlets. The Company produces compressed natural gas (CNG) bi-fuel capable vehicles in Europe, such as the Opel Zafira Tourer and the Opel Combo van. In the United States, the Company is developing a program to offer a selection of truck and van options through a specialty vehicle manufacturing program, operating on CNG or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which are suitable for fleet and commercial applications and retail customers alike. It offers CNG and LPG capable vehicles in select markets.

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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