Cruise Chief Executive Dan Ammann said the company needs to log more test miles on its driverless electric cars, which have been plying San Francisco streets for more than three years with safety drivers at the wheel.

According to Dan Ammann “The historical Silicon Valley approach ‘move fast and break things’ just doesn’t work for the kind of technology we’re working on here.”

Cruise – the GM’s driverless – car subsidiary.

Car companies are racing to invest in new autonomous-driving capabilities, worried the rise of robot-taxi fleets would reduce the need for personal-car ownership and hurt their core auto-manufacturing business over the long term.

GM paid around $1 billion for Cruise in early 2016, when the San Francisco-based startup had 40 employees and was testing a self-driving system bolted atop Audi cars.

It now employs nearly 1,500 people and has attracted more than $6 billion in outside funding, putting its value at around $19 billion, GM said in May. Cruise is working to offer an on-demand, self-driving ride-hailing service that would operate in pre-determined areas of San Francisco.

GM executives have said they can envision a day when autonomous-vehicle services could be a bigger portion of its business than manufacturing cars.

Over the past two years, GM shares have rallied following news of major investments into Cruise and upbeat analyst reports about the division’s prospects as a future growth driver.

He said autonomous-vehicle investors have been pushing back their time lines for commercialization of the technology.

A provision of SoftBank’s $2.25 billion investment said $1.34 billion would be paid out once Cruise begins commercial service.

Waymo, Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car unit, is viewed by many analysts as furthest along in developing driverless technology.

Beyond improving the technology, Cruise is working on other pieces of its business plan necessary before robot cars hit the roads, Mr. Dan Ammann said.

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