Honda Joins the Party

Kyle Vogt
Kyle Vogt
Oct 3, 2018 · 2 min read

Just four months ago we announced that SoftBank agreed to invest $2.25 billion in Cruise. Today we’re announcing that Honda is also joining the party. They’re bringing chips, dip, and $2.75 billion.

Perhaps most importantly, Honda will work with Cruise and GM to develop an innovative, space-efficient autonomous vehicle that delivers an exceptional experience and minimizes congestion on crowded city streets. Sharing our technology with a partner beyond our immediate GM family is the right move for our customers and their communities. It’s also the right move for Honda and accelerates our mission to bring self driving cars to as many people as possible.

A rule of thumb in the auto industry is that a new production vehicle takes four years and about a billion dollars to design and bring to market. That’s assuming you have an existing assembly plant (if not, add another billion dollars) and an experienced team ready to spring into action. Most companies don’t, so it takes much longer. The many-year delay from concept to production is the reason the navigation system and music player in your car always feel dated compared to the apps on your phone.

We’re always looking for ways to accelerate the deployment of self-driving technology, since it’s inherently good in many different ways. So we made the decision a couple of years ago to shave years off our timeline and build our first wave of self-driving cars by starting with GM’s existing proven electric vehicle platform. We’re now manufacturing them on a production assembly line, which enables us to work through the issues unique to manufacturing self-driving cars, to make iterative improvements, and to significantly de-risk our path to scale. The end result is stunning, and we’re thrilled to share the experience with our customers in the near future. It’s comfortable, familiar, and will be a great initial introduction to our self-driving future.

And now, since we’re getting closer to launching our first wave of self-driving cars, it’s time to talk about what comes next.

Image for post
Image for post
Working with GM, we’ve already designed a prototype of our autonomous vehicle of the future. With Honda on board, our path to production is even quicker.

Shouldn’t the car of the future have giant TV screens, a mini bar, and lay-flat seats? Maybe it should. We’ve been quietly prototyping a ground-breaking new vehicle over the past two years that is fully released from the constraints of having a driver behind the wheel. Building a new vehicle that has an incredible user experience, optimal operational parameters, and efficient use of space is the ultimate engineering challenge. We’re going to do this right, and by joining forces with Honda we’ve found the perfect partner to help make it happen.

Cruise

A self-driving service designed for the cities we love.

Kyle Vogt

Written by

Kyle Vogt

Co-Founder, President & CTO of Cruise

Cruise

Cruise

Cruise is building the world’s most advanced self-driving vehicles to safely connect people with the places, things and experiences they care about. Join us in solving the engineering challenge of a generation: https://getcruise.com/careers

Kyle Vogt

Written by

Kyle Vogt

Co-Founder, President & CTO of Cruise

Cruise

Cruise

Cruise is building the world’s most advanced self-driving vehicles to safely connect people with the places, things and experiences they care about. Join us in solving the engineering challenge of a generation: https://getcruise.com/careers

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store