GM has highly ambitious plans to bring its self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV fleet to market. The autonomous test cars are on San Francisco roads now.
To experiment, they’ve converted the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EV into a self-driving test vehicle to validate new sensors and software, the progeny of Cruise Automation – a $1 billion start-up acquired by GM in early 2016. This effort follows on the heels of other automakers like Nissan and Tesla that have outfitted their electric cars with sensor technology to mimic the self-driving platform.
All in all, this would be the first time an automaker utilized mass production techniques to assemble self-driving vehicles. The self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV units rolled out of the Orion Assembly Plant located in Orion Township, Michigan. A GM Corporate Newsroom update on the topic quotes GM CEO Mary Barra,
"This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality. Expansion of our real-world test fleet will help ensure that our self-driving vehicles meet the same strict standards for safety and quality that we build into all of our vehicles."
In related news, Cruise Automation has recently announced the beta version of the autonomous ride-sharing app which is being used by its employees in SFO. The service called “Cruise Anywhere” operates on a fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV test cars. An engineer will be in the driver’s seat to take care of emergency situations.
The verdict for its driving efficiency is early to tell. However, a promo video released by Cruise Automation shows tremendous promise, with the test vehicle making gentle stops, stops behind the Stop line, and even speed throughout.
The full rollout of the all-electric 2017 version with 238 miles of range and a $37k sticker price is scheduled to happen by September.
Source: GM Corporate Newsroom