Friday 11 March 2016 3:07 pm

General Motors accelerates in driverless car race as it buys Cruise Automation

General Motors (GM), owner of such marques as Vauxhall, Cadillac and Chevrolet, has just come closer to taking pole position in the race to develop a driverless car, after it bought San Francisco-based startup Cruise Automation. 

The company, which is developing autonomous vehicle software, was founded in 2013. It has tested its technology "in San Francisco's challenging city environment", GM said. 

This isn't GM's first step into the driverless car market: it's already established a separate unit to develop autonomous vehicles.

Back in January, it also unveiled a partnership with Uber rival Lyft, saying it was investing $500m (£349m) in Lyft to build a fleet of autonomous vehicles that can be summoned on demand.

“Cruise provides our company with a unique technology advantage that is unmatched in our industry," enthused Mark Reuss, GM's snappily-titled executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain.

"We intend to invest significantly to further grow the talent base and capabilities already established by the Cruise team." Quite.