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General Motors just brought driverless car future even closer


GM's 2016 Malibu Hybrid EV

Connected cars are already here, and driverless cars are the next obvious step.

General Motors has bought out a company that develops driverless car technology.

The US car giant today acquired Silicon Valley-based Cruise Automation, which produces after-market driverless vehicle kits as reported by Re/Code. These kits turn Audi S4s or Audi A4s into an autonomous vehicle, beyond the point of purchase.

The firm was actually founded by Twitch co-creator Kyle Vogt in 2013, but will find new direction under GM. It’s said that Cruise Automation will now focus on software creation, with a view to integrate the technology into GM cars.

“This will significantly accelerate the timeline for bringing autonomous vehicles to market,” said Dan Ammann, GM President, as cited in the report.

Unfortunately, Ammann declined to reveal the timeline, but confirmed that a timeline does exist internally. Ford, meanwhile, has been open about its timeline, revealing to TrustedReviews in January that consumer-ready autonomous vehicles should be on roads by 2020.

ford snowFord's driverless car navigating in the snow

General Motors produces vehicles under a host of famous brands, including Chevrolet, Vauxhall, and Cadillac.

Related: Apple Car rumours

Just last month, GM confirmed plans to build an affordable’ electric car, set for production in 2017.

The five-seater vehicle will be called the Ampera-e, and will look very similar to the Chevrolet Bolt, currently pegged for the USA.

The Ampera-e, by contrast, will be built by GM’s European manufacturing division Opel, with the intention of retailing the vehicle on the continent.

What do you make of driverless cars? Let us know in the comments.

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