Cruise, the GM-backed autonomous vehicle development company, has acquired another self-driving vehicle company called Voyage, according to a report Monday by Slashgear. Typically, this wouldn’t be that big a deal — companies get bought all the time, especially in a fast-moving field like self-driving car development — but Voyage is a rarity.
Voyage is unique because it’s one of the only self-driving car developers to have a service that is out in the real world serving customers. It’s able to do this because it’s been working in an interesting niche — closed communities. Specifically, it runs shuttle services in two retirement communities, one in California and one in Florida.
These shuttle services can offer senior citizens mobility in cases where they can’t or would prefer not to drive themselves, and allows them to get around without having to rely on friends or loved ones. Because the areas being served are so small, Voyage doesn’t have the same kind of huge maps or varied conditions to contend with as other self-driving car services face.
How does this benefit Cruise? Well, that’s hard to say. Cruise has a different focus than Voyage — namelyto be used anywhere — and has been testing on public roads with fully driverless vehicles in California for a while now. Voyage will likely benefit from Cruise’s partnerships with vehicle manufacturers like GM and Honda.
We asked Cruise for comment but didn’t hear back in time for publication.