General Motors Co. has acquired Strobe Inc., a Pasadena, Calif.-based developer of lidar sensors for autonomous vehicles.
GM plans to fold the three-year-old startup company into its Cruise Automation subsidiary. Strobe, which has about 15 software engineers and other employees, holds several lidar-related patents that GM and Cruise say will “significantly” improve the cost and capabilities of prototype self-driving cars.
Strobe was founded by CEO Julie Schoenfeld and Director Lute Maleki in 2014 when the business was spun off from California’s OEwaves Inc. The executive team also includes Tony Tether, who created the Grand Challenge autonomous vehicle race for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against General Motors Co. over claimed flaws in the company’s 8-speed automatic transmission used in 2015-2019 model rear-drive vehicles.
For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.
It’s the fifth generation of a vehicle that has been increasing in sales year after year since its introduction in 1997.