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Companies Have Spent Over $16 Billion On Robocars. It’s A Drop In The Bucket

"Recent research at tech newsletter “The Information” calculates that the various companies have spent around $16 billion on self-driving car projects, calling it a “money pit.” (Story is behind a paywall, but the free lede contains a chart with much of the information.) The bigger spenders were Waymo and GM/Cruise at over $3B each, and it didn’t even count for certain high-value company acquisitions (for example, Intel spending $16B on MobilEye with much of that value relating to their self-driving projects.)

The number seems astronomical, particularly in light of the expected recent pullback of enthusiasm from major auto OEMs for the rapid deployment of robocar technologies.

One still-enthusiastic OEM is GM. At their recent investor day, Dan Amman, CEO of the Cruise unit, described the eventual self-driving marketplace at around $8 trillion per year, with $5 trillion in rides, $2 trillion in cargo and $500B each for in-car experiences and data."

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