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Buh-Bye Car Companies: Silicon Valley Taking Over...Waymo Become Big "Up" For FCA 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica's; Softbank Invests $2.5 Billion In GM Cruise

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SEE ALSO: Silicon Valley On Its Way To Disrupt The Auto Industry and The Historic Need For Traditional Car Companies

Atlanta GA May 31, 2018; With a number of announcements today by major players in the space, the future of autonomous, self-driving vehicles became a bit more clear. Or maybe it didn’t. Either way, one thing is certain: The pursuit of new mobility solutions will not wane. This morning, General Motors confirmed that SoftBank Vision Fund has committed $2.25 billion to Cruise, GM’s autonomous vehicle company. With an additional investment of $1.1 billion from parent company GM, Cruise is now more well-funded than ever in its pursuit of autonomous vehicle commercialization by 2019.

Meanwhile, the FCA / Waymo relationship grows deeper, with a confirmation that up to 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans have been committed to Waymo’s self-driving fleet, with vehicle delivery beginning later this year. FCA US and Waymo also let it be known that discussions are underway for Waymo self-driving technology to be incorporated into future FCA-manufactured vehicles, to be sold at retail to consumers.

With these announcements, the experts and analyst from Cox Automotive have provided the following commentary. If you would like to speak to anyone from the Autotrader or Kelley Blue Book teams, let us know. Our PR team would be happy to help.


From Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book:
“The turbulent future of personal transportation has tech companies, car companies and financial institutions scrambling to establish a position of strength and control. SoftBank doesn’t want to be left behind, as its heavy investment across the self-driving landscape confirms. An alliance with General Motors improves the reach and influence of both companies.”

From Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader:
“This vote of confidence from outside the automotive world bodes well for the future of self-driving cars in America. It’s easy to get caught up in all the talk about the future and the coming hi-tech world but what we’re really talking about it building cars. It turns out, the best company for that is a company that’s been doing it for more than 100 years.”

From Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book:
“Japan's SoftBank is specializing in investment that are both futuristic and nearly paradoxical, like funding a huge solar field in oil rich Saudi Arabia and autonomous driving with GM. It's investing with the giants of industries that are facing significant disruption and placing bold, billion dollar bets on the future.”

FCA/Waymo Relationship

From Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book:
“Waymo continues to leverage its partnerships with traditional automakers. Expanding from 600 to 62,000 Chrysler minivans, in addition to its recent 20,000-vehicle commitment with Jaguar Land Rover, confirms Waymo’s desire to be the technology behind self-driving cars rather than playing the role of car manufacturer. It’s a good move that gives the tech giant more flexibility while maintaining the profit margin that built its parent company.”

From Akshay Anand, analyst at Kelley Blue Book:
“FCA and Waymo are no strangers to each other, and this announcement shows the partnership is working. We are seeing a continued ramping of investment in self-driving cars, and even with incidents in recent news, companies across industries still want to stake their claim in the transportation mode of the future.”

From Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book:
“I like the expansion of this already thriving partnership between Waymo and Chrysler. It maximizes the core competencies of each party while advancing a shared interest in future mobility.”