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Tim Culpan

The Bezos Rule on Making Beer Applies to Carmakers

Having a better chip inside is great, but the difference probably won’t be worth the high cost.

A Cruise vehicle in San Francisco. 

A Cruise vehicle in San Francisco. 

Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

Cruise LLC is sick of paying through the nose for semiconductors, so the self-driving car division of General Motors Co. decided to start designing chips itself. It’s a bold move, but one that could see the auto company lose direction.

Only 18 months ago semiconductor giant Nvidia Corp. was showing off the Cruise Origin Robotaxi as a case study in the use of graphics processing units in Cruise cars “to process the massive amounts of data its fleet collects on San Francisco’s chaotic streets in real time.”