GM to Deploy Self-Driving Vehicles by 2019

General Motors Co. tells investors it expects to begin selling self-driving vehicles for use in urban areas, mainly as autonomous ride-share vehicles, by 2019.

GM President Dan Ammann offers few details. But he says a key will be reducing the cost of high-definition lidar sensors to $300 compared with today’s $20,000 price. Lidar is considered an essential element for enabling autonomous vehicles.

Last month GM acquired lidar developer Strobe Inc. and predicted the deal would eventually enable it to slash lidar prices by 99%. Ammann says GM’s goal is to shrink the cost of lidar to $1 per vehicle mile driven compared with $2.50 today.