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Wired News – General Motor Betting Big on Self-Driving Cars; Plans to Launch Fleets of Self-Driving Cars by 2019

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LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / December 04, 2017 / Active-Investors issued a free report on General Motor Co. (NYSE: GM), which is readily accessible upon registration at www.active-investors.com/registration-sg/?symbol=GM as the Company's latest news hit the wire. On November 30, 2017, during its investor conference the Company shared its plans to launch a large fleet of self-driving electric cars in big cities by 2019. The plan is quite bold and ambitious especially since rival automobile Companies like Ford Motors has plans to launch a similar service by 2021. Sign up now for our free research reports at:


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Dan Ammann, President of GM, informed investors that the lifetime revenue generation of one of its self-driving cars could eventually be in the "several hundred thousands of dollars". This is comparable to the average purchase price of each GM vehicle which is approximately $30,000.

The comments came in after the Company successfully demonstrated its self-driving electric vehicle - the Chevy Bolt I - on November 28, 2017 in San Francisco. Cruise Automation, a GM Company, gave reporters their first look at the autonomous Chevrolet Bolts electric cars. Cruise has been testing the autonomous Chevrolet Bolts across the busy urban streets of cities like San Francisco, Phoenix, and Detroit. The Company has aggressive plans to use these models to develop the fleet of self-driving cars.

Response of reporters sharing their ride experiences on the autonomous Chevrolet Bolts electric cars ranged from impressed to defensive; some have also stated that it is slow and that it still needed some work before being launched commercially. The Company agreed with the assessment regarding the need for refinement and is addressing these issues while working to make the self-driving cars safer day by day. The Company plans to test its autonomous electric vehicle for over a million miles over a period of a month in 2018 before launching its fleet of self-driving electric cars in "dense urban areas" by 2019. It is also using computerized simulations of up to 150 simulations per minute, to ensure better passenger safety.

The most lucrative part of launching the fleet is the cost of operating these vehicles - which the Company expects to be under $1 per mile by 2025. In most cities, the cost per mile is $2.5. The Company is confident of achieving the reduced costs due to the in-house production of LIDAR sensors that help the cars "see" and battery cells.

Powered by Self-Driving Technology

GM had acquired Cruise a self-driving tech for more than $1 billion in May 2016 and Cruise has been the force behind GM's quick roll out of self-driving cars. It also led to the entry of the Company into the nascent industry of autonomous vehicles. The Company acquired LIDAR technology Company Strobe, Inc. in October 2017 for an undisclosed amount to add to Cruise's strengths. The LIDAR technology is a sensor based technology that calculates the distance between a sensor source and a target – presumably another car or something else in the road ahead – and offers a more accurate view of the world than cameras or radar alone. The LIDAR technology helped GM and Cruise to improve cost and capabilities of the self-driving vehicles and scale up their deployment plans.

Impact on the Company's Bottom-line

GM becomes the first Company that has been testing self-driving vehicles in busy streets of big cities, clearly giving it a first mover advantage. The launch of the fleet of self-driving cars adds to its bottom-line as a new revenue stream in the long-run. This is sure to pressurize GM's competitors like Uber, Alphabet's Waymo, Ford, and others working on self-driving vehicles.

According to Ammann:

"Transportation as a service penetration is in the very early stages. Ride-share is only 0.1% of all US miles driven. We still have 99.9% of the opportunity in front of us."

Many experts feel that the Company's plans are too aggressive, and it may not be able to stick to the timelines discussed. Any number of things could go wrong for the Company until the time of an actual launch.

Stock Performance Snapshot

December 01, 2017 - At Friday's closing bell, General Motor's stock slightly fell 0.70%, ending the trading session at $42.79.

Volume traded for the day: 19.32 million shares, which was above the 3-month average volume of 14.35 million shares.

Stock performance in the last three-month – up 14.53%; previous six-month period – up 24.17%; past twelve-month period – up 17.46%; and year-to-date - up 22.82%

After last Friday's close, General Motor's market cap was at $61.79 billion.

Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio was at 9.25.

The stock has a dividend yield of 3.55%.

The stock is part of the Consumer Goods sector, categorized under the Auto Manufacturers - Major industry.


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