GM Gives All Its Vehicles a New Soul

General Motors’ latest offering is so far from sexy, it doesn’t even have a clever name created by the marketing department via focus group. But the new “electronic platform,” the computing network that will run through nearly all the company's vehicles and make their myriad digital systems work, is as key to the automaker’s future as any single feature, or even vehicle. It’s the infrastructure that will let GM compete in an industry increasingly ruled by software—and give its customers all the high-tech goodies they’ve come to expect, from high-res screens to booty-shaking safety features. “It’s the brain and nervous system of the vehicle,” says Al Adams, GM’s director of electrical components and subsystems, who led its development. Think of …

Uber’s Underwhelming IPO, Lyft Earnings and More Car News This Week

Finally, after much ink spilled and many hours prognosticating, it happened: Uber started trading on the stock market. On Friday, after Uber execs rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, it was off to the races, and… not the greatest news for Uber. Instead of popping, Uber trended down for much of the day, ending nearly 8 percent below the $45 IPO price. The big question for potential buyers: Is Uber even a functional business yet? Or will it have to pull off the tricky task of building autonomous vehicle tech and putting its human drivers out of work to reach profitability? (Not coincidentally, some of those drivers went on strike this week to demand better wages and …

Cruise’s $1 Billion Infusion Shows the Stakes in Self-Driving Tech

For an industry that has yet to scale a commercial product, the folks building self-driving cars sure have raised a lot of money. The latest eye-popping investment comes via Cruise, the San Francisco-based autonomous vehicle unit that is mostly owned by General Motors. The company announced Tuesday that it had raised $1.15 billion, at a valuation of $19 billion—roughly one-third of the valuation of GM, despite not having sold a single car. The infusion comes from one new investor, the global asset management firm T. Rowe Price Associates, plus existing partners GM, Honda, and the Softbank Vision Fund, which poured $2.25 billion into the self-driving unit a year ago. Cruise says it has raised $7.25 billion in the past year, …