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Here’s Why Cruise Makes Its Own Chips And More

Cruise has no intention of producing its own silicon. However, never-planned endeavors may seem a lot more enticing in the race to commercialize robotaxis and earn money while doing so.

Cruise VP of hardware, Carl Jenkins, told TechCrunch on a tour of the company’s hardware lab the previous month that the company recognized the cost of processors from vendors was too high, the parts were too large, and the dependability of the third-party tech just wasn’t there.

Cruise doubled focus on its own technology, including its own sensors and board, during a hiring binge that started in 2019 and extended into 2020. The company has been able to produce smaller, more affordable gear for its automobiles owing to the financing. Aside from that, a manufacturing board was developed, the C5, which powers the Chevy Bolt’s current generation.

The C6 board will be installed in the company’s purpose-built Origin robotaxi when it begins to circulate in 2023. The C7 board, which features Cruise’s Dune chip, will eventually take its place. As per Cruise, Dune will process all of the system’s sensor data.

Automakers typically use components and sensors from Tier 1 vendors to cut R&D and production expenses. Cruise was unable to envision a method to introduce their automated ride-hailing service without performing more of the work themselves. As a result, the C7 board is 90% less expensive, 70% lighter, and 60% less energy-intensive than chips from a typical chip maker.

By the middle of the decade, according to GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra, the carmaker will produce and market personal autonomous vehicles.

According to Ruess, GM hasn’t determined whether these PAVs would debut as a high-end product, an add-on to an existing car model, or a standalone vehicle.

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