[YesAuto News] According to foreign media reports, on June 12th, GM CEO Mary Barra confirmed the “unfamiliar” relationship between GM and travel service provider Lyft at GM's annual shareholder meeting. Mary Barra said that General Motors is still making financial investments in Lyft, but the two parties currently have no ongoing projects.
Founded in 2012, Lyft is the second largest online car-hailing platform in the United States, with Uber ranked first. As travel services such as online car-hailing, taxis, and car rentals can access many different travel scenarios, travel service providers have certain advantages in the development of autonomous driving.
In January 2016, General Motors invested US$500 million in Lyft and held a 9% stake in Lyft. The two parties intend to cooperate in the field of autonomous driving. However, the cooperation between the two parties has not made substantial progress since then and has become increasingly alienated. At the same time, Lyft has also cooperated with Waymo, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Motor and other companies, and established its own unmanned driving department in July 2017.
On June 7th of this year, Lyft officially announced that Dan Ammann, Executive Vice President of General Motors, had left Lyft’s board of directors. This was also seen by the industry as a sign that the relationship between the two parties has fallen short of expectations and is becoming increasingly alienated.
The cooperation with Lyft is not smooth, and General Motors plans to vigorously develop its self-driving platform Cruise Holdings. In May of this year, Japan's Softbank Group once stated that it would invest US$2.25 billion in Cruise Holdings, which is the largest investment so far in the field of autonomous driving. General Motors said that after the SoftBank Group completes its investment, General Motors will inject another $1.1 billion into Cruise Holdings. Mary Barra mentioned in the above-mentioned meeting that the significance of SoftBank Group's investment in Cruise Holdings will gradually become prominent in the following years.
General Motors is in a leading position in the field of autonomous driving. The US market research organization Navigant Research released a ranking report in the field of autonomous driving on January 16 this year, showing that the top five companies are General Motors, Google, Daimler-Bosch Alliance, Ford, and Volkswagen.
GM also plans to launch an autonomous driving taxi service in 2019. Currently, Cruise Holdings is using Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles to conduct autonomous driving tests in San Francisco, Arizona, Detroit and other places.
General Motors is in a period of vigorous transformation. While increasing its efforts to deploy electric vehicles and autonomous driving technologies, it is also carrying out a “slimming” plan. In 2017, General Motors transferred the long-term loss-making European businesses of Opel, Vaughan and General Motors Finance to PSA. Earlier this year, GM reached an agreement with the South Korean trade union to plan to close the GM Gunsan plant. In the previous few years, GM completed its withdrawal from the Russian and Indian markets. (Source: Reuters; Compiler/Car Home Xiao Ying)