General Motors CEO Mary Barra made a recent appearance on Axios on HBO. The episode's host Joann Muller wanted to know more about the future of self-driving cars. She asked Barra if Tesla's forward momentum with the technology puts pressure on companies like GM and how important it is to be first with such development.
Barra explained that GM's motivation is on safety. While bringing the tech to market first definitely helps with getting lots of media attention, that attention can prove negative if there are issues or concerns. GM has been working on self-driving tech for some time. In fact, it acquired autonomous tech startup Cruise Automation to help with the process.
The automaker already has a fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs, but its plans for putting these in the hands of the public are still unclear. Meanwhile, Tesla has been selling cars with its semi-autonomous Autopilot system for years. The Silicon Valley automaker is actually beta-testing the technology using data from real-world driving.
During the interview, Muller asks Barra a rather interesting and somewhat uncomfortable question. She wonders:
"So, when the technology's ready, I'm curious what you think people are gonna be doing ... in the car. Like ... take us into the future a little bit. Are we all facing each other and playing board games, sleeping, are we ... "
Well, hopefully you get the point here. Check out the short video to hear the rest of the question and see Barra's reaction. Then, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Video Description via Axios on YouTube:
GM CEO Mary Barra asked about competition from Tesla
GM CEO Marry Barra to Joann Muller on "Axios on HBO" about competing in the self-driving technology race: "We want to be safe. That's what's motivating us."