The hiring spree will help GM accelerate development of autonomous driving technology.

General Motors has announced plans to hire 1,100 workers at its Cruise Automation research-and-development facility in San Francisco.

GM acquired the California-based company little more than a year ago. The startup had been developing a $10,000 roof-mounted autonomous retrofit kit that would convert normal vehicles for autonomous operation.

After the buyout, Cruise engineers refocused their efforts on the Chevrolet Bolt. The project currently involves a fleet of more than 50 Bolts that are used to test self-driving technology in San Francisco, Scottsdale and Detroit.

GM plans to effectively double the R&D space dedicated to Cruise Automation, providing space for the new workers and helping accelerate development over the next five years.

"As autonomous car technology matures, our company's talent needs will continue to increase," says Cruise chief executive Kyle Vogt. "Accessing the world-class talent pool that the San Francisco Bay Area offers is one of the many reasons we plan to grow our presence in the state."