Vehicles made in Michigan
General Motors has already deployed more than 50 Chevrolet Bolt autonomous vehicles on the streets of San Francisco, Warren, Michigan, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Now, the automaker is rolling out 130 additional Bolts equipped with a new generation of self-driving technology.
The new Bolts, built in GM’s Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan, feature the latest equipment including LIDAR, cameras, sensor, and other hardware. GM is working with Cruise Automation, a driverless tech startup it bought out last year, to develop the technology.
“To achieve what we want from self-driving cars, we must deploy them at scale,” said Cruise Automation CEO Kyle Vogt in a statement. “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 claims to be the first company to use mass-production methods for autonomous vehicles. Self-driving Bolts began rolling off the line in January at the Orion plant.
“This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement. “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.”
Last year, GM made an important move by partnering with Lyft in an effort to create a network of autonomous cars for hire across the U.S. Some reports say GM and Lyft are working to deploy thousands of self-driving EVs in test fleets starting from 2018.
In the nearer term, GM will double Cruise Automation’s current research and development space with a new facility that goes online by the end of the year. The automaker is investing $14 million USD in the new space in San Francisco.