a new modular self-driving electric car, in white-label.
Today, OSVehicle is announcing its acquisition by General Motors Company. GM already bought another Y Combinator backed company Cruise Automation in March last year to focus on key long-term technologies such as autonomous driving technology and vehicle safety.
GM will now utilize OSVehicle’s open source hardware expertise to develop EDIT, a self-driving car, based on modular version of Chevy Bolt M1 platform. This modular technology was developed jointly with OSVehicle, to enable the easy replacement of key components such as electric motor and battery pack, which will allow vehicles to last 10X longer than traditional cars.
Modularity also allows the hardware upgrade of hardware stacks for self-driving and connected-cars, helping services like ride sharing. This is another strategic move made by GM towards “mobility as-a-service” after investing 500M $ in Lyft and launching Maven, GM’s own car sharing service in January 2016.
“GM decided to acquire us, because they saw the potential of a unified modular vehicle for the future of mobility as a service, that will allow car fleets last 10X longer under heavy usage conditions like car and ride sharing and enable hardware upgrade of self-driving, connected car technologies seamlessly.”
— Yuki and Tin Hang Liu, founders of OSVehicle
The connection with GM became a reality one year ago, when Qasar Younis, then COO of Y Combinator, and Justin Kan, YC Partner, serial entrepreneur and one of the internet’s most-loved reality stars, introduced OSVehicle (YC W16) to GM’s CEO, Mary T. Barra during the YC Demo Day at The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
“OSVehicle allows new players in the EV industry by helping them save millions & years in R&D. Just like in software, where new companies use AWS rather than setting up their own servers, OSVehicle provides a platform to build a custom EV quickly.”
— Qasar Younis, former COO, Y Combinator
Qasar, who was a former engineer at both GM and Bosch, saw the potential in OSVehicle to bring value to the Force. Justin Kan (Whale, YC, Zero-F) is the brother of Daniel Kan, COO of Cruise Automation, the YC startup acquired by GM in March 2016.
GM acquisition of OSVehicle is part of the deal with participation from Y Combinator: the final amount is …
… 1.1B$ but the modality remains undisclosed. The acquisition will enable GM to counter its arch-rival Tesla, which is going to release the Model 3 soon, in markets outside the traditional ownership model.
GM added that “developing a modular white-label vehicle will allow companies to deliver models tailored for each service and country. With the rise of food delivery, ride and car sharing, vehicles should be focused on the needs of the service brand, and not the car brand.”
Chevy Bolt platform will become open-source, as well the exterior body and interiors of EDIT.
“We want to allow every company to be able to customize based on their needs of autonomous driving software & hardware technology where the existing infrastructure can support it. US road infrastructure and law enforcement make it far safer for the deployment of this kind of technology than less mature markets, such as southeast Asia.”
— Dan Ammann, President of General Motors
Ms. Barra will join OSVehicle’s board of directors, alongside with Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator and CEO of OpenAI. OSVehicle will operate as an independent unit within GM and maintain its current operations from Silicon Valley, Hong Kong and Italy.
Even if it seems very realistic, it’s just an April fools. However, EDIT is real, stay tuned. –OSVehicle