DETROIT — General Motors CEO Mary Barra and other top executives are expected to travel to San Francisco this week to discuss the automaker's "vision for an autonomous future."
Self-driving and all-electric vehicles are the cornerstones of GM's goal of "zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion," which Barra announced this year as the automaker's guiding principles.
The event Thursday, Nov. 30, with Wall Street investors is expected to focus on GM's mobility and self-driving vehicle business, which some analysts have valued as high as $30 billion. It comes two weeks after Barra disclosed GM's plans for a new fleet of all-electric vehicles that executives expect will increase sales of the alternative powertrains to 1 million annually by 2026 and turn a profit.
"We recognize that our industry is changing very quickly, and we plan to participate in the biggest business opportunity since the creation of the Internet," she said of self-driving cars Nov. 15 at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference.
Since purchasing Cruise Automation as its self-driving unit in 2016, GM has been one of the most aggressive automakers in developing and testing autonomous vehicles.
Cruise's staff has grown to 350 employees from roughly 40 as it tests its third generation of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs, which Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt has touted as the "first real self-driving car."
Cruise's fleet of 180 autonomous vehicles has driven "hundreds of thousands of complex urban miles," according to Barra. The company announced testing will expand from Scottsdale, Ariz., San Francisco and Warren, Mich., to New York City next year.
The vehicles, Barra says, learn as much in one minute of testing in an urban area such as San Francisco as they do in an hour in more suburban areas such as Scottsdale.
A GM spokesman declined to comment on details about the event outside its announcement on the company's investor relations website.
The investor event comes as GM shares have surged about 30 percent this year to record highs since the company began trading at $33 a share in November 2010. GM's investor program comes roughly two months after crosstown rival Ford Motor Co. hosted investors for a review of newly appointed CEO Jim Hackett's vision for the company.