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Waymo and GM just made big moves in the great self-driving-car race

Tens of thousands of new cars and more than $2 billion in new investment are setting up a showdown between the two organizations.

The news: Two big announcements yesterday, from two of the biggest movers and shakers in self-driving cars:

1.  Waymo revealed plans to buy 62,000 Chrysler minivans.
2.  GM’s autonomous-car unit, Cruise, got a $2.25 billion investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund.

For Waymo … this demonstrates the firm’s commitment to commercialize, either by building out its autonomous taxi fleet or by selling robot cars to the public.

For GM … the automaker gets a major cash infusion to catch up to self-driving rivals. Its shares skyrocketed after the announcement.

Why it matters: Alphabet’s Waymo is in the lead when it comes to self-driving technology—but it’ll have a fight on its hands, and GM wants to be a contender.

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