Cruise, the self-driving division of General Motors, has brought in a further US$1.15bn in funding, increasing its valuation to US$19bn.
The extra funding came from mutual fund manager T Rowe Price and existing Cruise investors Honda and SoftBank’s Vision Fund, and from parent company GM. It will help finance the launching of a robo-taxi service, which is planned for this year.
Cruise has raised US$7.25bn in equity in the past year, and is one of a number of firms to have secured huge equity investments as they compete to get autonomous vehicles onto public roads.
“Developing and deploying self-driving vehicles on a massive scale is the engineering challenge of our generation,” said Dan Ammann, Cruise chief executive. “Having deep resources to draw on as we pursue our mission is a critical competitive advantage.”