California-based self-driving startup up Voyage starting off using their self-driving technologies to transport senior citizens around their communities. Now, Voyage will use its previous research used to develop its own self-driving technologies, with Cruise’s resources to extend its services.
Founded in 2016, Voyage was born as a spin-off venture of Udacity. The startup began by trying to develop an open-source self-driving car. Although originally planned for all, the company shifted focus to the millions of senior citizens who live in retirement communities that are in need of better transportation options.
Voyage has since been able to produce three generations of robotaxis in addition to its own self-driving technologies. Technologies that Cruise will now be able to take advantage of, including Voyage’s self-driving A.I Commander, its self-driving A.I. Shield, its collision mitigation system, and its remote assistance solution, Telassist.
GM’s Cruise has seen several investments from some top companies but its most recent was a investment round led by Microsoft which closed at $2 billion. In addition to the investment, Microsoft will become Cruise and GM’s “preferred cloud service provider.”
CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella commented on the announcement: “Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods. As Cruise and GM’s preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”
Now, Voyage will throw its hat into contributors to Cruise’s goal of delivering safe and affordable autonomous transportation. Voyage Co-founder and CEO, Oliver Cameron said about the new venture: “Cruise’s deep partnerships with GM and Honda deliver the crucial engineering, manufacturing, and safety expertise required to scale a handful of self-driving vehicles to millions and do so with unrivaled cost efficiencies. I am thrilled that key members of our Voyage team—particularly those who worked on our third-generation robotaxi—will be able to use their extensive experience in vehicle development to put their stamp on the Cruise Origin, delivering a better and safer future for our roadways.”