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In the race to reshape personal mobility, other companies including Waymo, Uber and Ford Motor have been working toward similar goals. Waymo has said it will launch a commercial driverless service in the next few months in the less-complicated Phoenix area, though it has been vague on details.
Of course, execution is everything, and GM still has some work to do to ensure its automated vehicles are safe. But based on the “exponential levels of improvement” it has seen in the past 18 months, and its ability to mass-produce autonomous vehicles at a factory near Detroit, GM is confident it will have first-mover advantage.
“We can tell you today — if we continue on the current rate of change, we’ll be ready to deploy this technology at large scale in the most complex environments, in 2019,” GM President Daniel Ammann told analysts at an investor conference in San Francisco.
The presentation was intended to help investors understand the value GM expects to unlock as its transitions its business toward mobility as a service rather than pure automobile manufacturing.
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