General Motors Assembles First Round of Driverless Test Vehicles

General Motors recently announced the completed production of 130 self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles. The fleet is equipped with GM’s latest autonomous technology, and will join the more than 50 other Bolt EV test vehicles already in service.

Currently, GM is conducting testing in San Francisco, Scottsdale, and Detroit.

Future Goals

GM became the first automaker to assemble driverless test vehicles in a mass-production facility when the fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles began coming down the line at Orion Township Assembly in January.

“This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality,” said GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra.

Each Bolt EV test vehicle is equipped with LIDAR, cameras, sensors, and other components necessary for automated driving. GM will leverage the technology to further develop a safe and reliable fully automated vehicle.

“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,” Barra explained.

Partnership Approach

In March of last year, GM acquired Cruise Automation, a San Francisco company focused on autonomous driving programs and software. Chief Executive Officer Kyle Vogt believes the forthcoming fleet of Bolt EVs are essential.

“To achieve what we want from self-driving cars, we must deploy them at scale,” he said. “By developing the next-generation self-driving platform in San Francisco and manufacturing these cars in Michigan, we are creating the safest and most consistent conditions to bring our cars to the most challenging urban roads that we can find.”

GM and Cruise Automation have been testing driverless Bolt EVs on public roads in San Francisco and Scottsdale since June 2016. In January, the two companies began testing vehicles on public roads in Warren, Michigan. According to Cruise Automation’s website, the company is hiring additional engineers who are passionate about the field of automated driving.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.

Photo: General Motors.

Photos & Source: General Motors, Cruise Automation.

About The Author

Carl represents automakers in their marketing and product development arms as a Vehicle Coach, Product Specialist, and Facilitator. He has worked with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Volvo. Carl is President of Detroit Working Writers and on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation. He enjoys a multitude of health and fitness activities and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

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