EV Company Cruise Backed by GM to Buy EV and Autonomous Vehicles Startup Voyage

By Elijah Labby Thursday, March 4, 2021

General Motors (GM) is betting big on the future of electric cars and autonomous vehicles.

After announcing a massive investment in the future of electric cars in October 2020, the business is now backing Voyage, a new autonomous vehicles and EV startup company.

Cruise self-driving car in San Francisco.

How GM is Investing in the Business of Electric Vehicles

GM is investing through their ownership of Cruise, an autonomous vehicles company headquartered in San Francisco, California. GM owns a majority stake in Cruise and can thus determine the direction of the driverless automotive company. Voyage is the next big bet for both Cruise as a company and GM as its business owner.

Voyage’s bread and butter are electric, driverless cars for the elderly. According to the startup company description on its website, Voyage believes “that retirement communities are the perfect first location for truly driverless cars,” and that “simpler, slower environments complement the current state of autonomous vehicles.”

According to Bloomberg, Cruise and the Voyage startup company are seriously discussing the merger. But when asked, Cruise company spokesman Ray Wert said the business has not done anything just yet.

“We have nothing to announce but Cruise is always looking to add to our world-class engineering team as we work to solve the greatest engineering challenge of a generation,” he said.

Voyage’s Funding

Voyage has an impressive record of fundraising for a startup business. The driverless EV company has so far raised about $52 million in venture capital funding. Furthermore, the startup business provides its services to over 100,000 seniors in its Florida location alone.

And Voyage is just one company making a dent in the increasingly competitive business world of the driverless EV automotive industry.

That competition has led to a severe downturn in the stock of perhaps the most notable autonomous vehicles company, Tesla, and the rise of other competitors in the industry, with players like Rivian and Waymo.

Mergers Might be the Future of the EV Market

One of the factors driving the decision-making of an EV driverless car startup companies like Rivian or Voyage is the high level of funding needed to get the startup company off the ground.

Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO at Motional, a company working to bring self-driving cars to the masses, says that this reality is a major consideration for any self-driving or EV startup company.

“Vehicles are these massively complex systems, and to [build self-driving cars], we need to integrate them with another very complex system and do it in a way that’s reliable and cost-optimized. It’s really, really hard,” the CEO told WIRED. “I think that's one of the things that most players in the industry underappreciated, myself included.”

Voyage seems to be considering this next step for growth. If they take it, it’s possible that the company could become a key player in the driverless cars EV industry.

About the Author

Headshot of Elijah Labby

Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.

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