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Mar 15, 2021

GM-backed Cruise buys self-driving startup Voyage in talent grab

Gordon Reid discusses General Motors, Tesla and electric vehicles

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Cruise LLC, the self-driving technology company that’s majority-owned by General Motors Co., said it acquired autonomous-vehicle startup Voyage, which operates a service in retirement communities.

“I’m pleased to welcome Oliver Cameron and Voyage to the Cruise team,” Cruise President Kyle Vogt announced Monday on Twitter, confirming a Bloomberg News report from early this month. “Voyage is a nimble and highly capable company that shares our mission to make transportation safer & more accessible, and we’re thrilled that they’re joining us.”

The deal gives Cruise more than 60 people trained in developing and running self-driving vehicles, where experience and talent comes at a premium. Cameron, Voyage’s chief executive officer, is joining Cruise as vice president of product.

Cruise’s acquisition of Voyage happens at a time when autonomous-technology companies are consolidating. Zoox Inc. sold to Amazon.com Inc. last year. For Voyage, joining Cruise is a way for Cameron to continue his work with the aid of the acquirer’s 1,800 employees and its deeper pockets.

The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

While Voyage has raised US$52 million, Cruise has raised more than US$8 billion and gets about US$1 billion a year from GM.

“The self-driving industry is consolidating, and the leaders of a trillion-dollar market are fast emerging,” Cameron said on a blog post on Voyage’s web page. “After being intimately involved with the AV industry for the last five years, I can say with certainty that Cruise -- with its advanced self-driving technology, unique automaker partnerships, and all-electric purpose-built vehicle with no human controls -- is poised to be the clear leader.”

Cameron said that key members of Voyage’s technology team will be working on the Cruise Origin, the company’s dedicated self-driving shuttle.