GM envisions a future where we can enjoy the benefits of vehicle use—freedom, convenience and comfort—while minimizing risks such as crashes, congestion or pollution. We are working on the technologies that will make this future possible, blending global insights with local market expertise as the automotive industry transforms from a traditional manufacturer of goods to a provider of services that delivers new ways of thinking about transportation.
Over the past decade, GM has built a strong leadership position in vehicle electrification and connectivity; and in the past 18 months, we have been rapidly building a similar position on autonomous and shared vehicles, with 180 vehicles in our autonomous test fleet and a new shared mobility platform that is experiencing rapid growth.
The most significant change affecting modern mobility is the rise of autonomous vehicles (AVs). Autonomous driving is on the brink of disrupting the automotive industry, and GM is helping chart the course of that transformation. AVs will bring enormous societal benefits, the most visible of which will be dramatic increases in road safety. Consider that in the United States alone, nearly 40,000 people are killed and 2 million are injured on the roads each year. Human error is to blame for 94 percent of these injuries and deaths. By taking human fatigue, distraction and impairment out of the equation, we can save the lives of tens of thousands of drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
AVs will save another precious commodity: time. The number of cars on the road—which currently lack connectivity to manage their flow—creates congestion, wastes time and costs money. The average American spends 42 hours in traffic every year, paying roughly $1,400 for that fuel. Globally, we estimate that the economy loses roughly $1 trillion per year in lost productivity due to people and goods being stuck in traffic. AVs will address these challenges by reducing the crashes that bring traffic to a standstill and will ease bottlenecks through technologies like platooning and adaptive cruise control.
GM is the right company to deliver the benefits of AVs. Unlike other companies who are retrofitting conventional vehicles with autonomous technology, or designing their own vehicles for the first time, GM brings expertise in automotive design, safety testing and proven quality methods refined over more than a century. We also have the manufacturing capacity and talent to bring AVs quickly to scale. In fact, in 2017 we became the first automaker to use mass-production auto assembly line methods for autonomous vehicles, and we remain the only company with this capacity.
Every GM autonomous test vehicle is also an electric vehicle, with a design based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV. Introducing these technologies in tandem accomplishes multiple goals, including increasing acceptance of EVs and encouraging buildout of EV charging infrastructure. In addition, there are benefits to integrating AV technology into an EV — as opposed to a conventional or hybrid vehicle — from an engineering perspective.
GM’s autonomous electric vehicles also will be shared, a further reflection of the changing nature of transportation. The world’s population, particularly in cities, is growing rapidly. By 2030, the world is projected to have 41 megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants. At the same time, we recognize that most privately owned vehicles spend most of their time unused—and ridesharing currently represents only a tenth of a percent of vehicle miles driven in the U.S. This presents opportunities to use vehicles more efficiently: decreasing the number of cars on the road, but increasing utilization rates of those that remain by more people riding in them. Taking this another step, when passengers choose to ride together in shared cars or shuttles, they increase efficiency and reduce congestion even further.
Maven ride-sharing app.
Our customers not only understand these benefits—they are demanding them. There is a new desire for transportation access that doesn’t necessarily include ownership. Although car ownership will stay strong in large parts of the U.S. and around the world, people everywhere, and especially the growing population in urban areas, are clamoring for a different type of relationship with transportation. This shift provides us with a tremendous opportunity to offer personalized, premium, on-demand solutions that connect customers to the people, places and moments that matter to them. We are doing precisely that today through our Maven suite of shared mobility solutions. Other near-term innovations that bring together these breakthrough technologies may include a fully autonomous, electrically powered ride-sharing platform.
Chevrolet 2017 Volt infotainment screen.
Today, we are the most connected automaker in the world, with nearly 14 million vehicles connected, accounting for 200 million daily interactions with customers.
Connectivity is a foundational enabler of a future that includes on-demand car sharing and autonomous vehicles. GM’s two decades’ experience building our OnStar in-vehicle safety and security service, and our diagnostic, navigation and connectivity services, makes us the most connected automaker on the planet. This sets the stage for deploying connected vehicle technology to improve safety and relieve congestion by allowing vehicles to communicate with one another and the infrastructure. Equally important, this has provided us with an understanding and appreciation that offering a vehicle with the latest technology is only meaningful when it is seamlessly integrated, as well as consistent and relevant to our customers.
Today, we are the most connected automaker in the world, with more than 14 million vehicles connected, accounting for 200 million daily interactions with customers.
The freedom and opportunity that vehicles have provided the past 100 years has come with often adverse effects in the form of injuries, emissions and congestion. Now, transformative innovations—autonomy, combined with electrification, sharing and connectivity—are changing the nature of transportation and our relationships to the vehicles that move us. These innovations, in the hands of GM engineers and experts, are creating a historic opportunity to make personal mobility safer, better and more sustainable for customers around the world.