GM says it has made 130 self-driving Bolts

Elizabeth Williams
June 14, 2017

The first units rolled out of the Orion Assembly Plant in MI in January, and the one that completed the "batch" of 130 cars was built yesterday. Back in January, Chevy claims it became the first automaker to use an assembly line process to build self-driving vehicles.

Testing of the second-generation vehicles has begun in San Francisco and is to expand to the Detroit area and Scottsdale, Ariz., in the coming months.

Barra in a rare December news conference in Detroit said GM would be the first high-volume automaker to produce a fully autonomous prototype in an assembly plant. She stated that the new vehicles would help the company to accelerate its testing in city environments.

The version of the Chevrolet Bolt autonomous vehicles unveiled Tuesday are equipped with the latest array of equipment, including LIDAR, cameras, radar, sensors and other hardware designed and built by GM and its suppliers.

"We believe the societal benefits and business opportunity of autonomous vehicles will be significant, and we intend for GM to be the leader in not only their development, but their deployment", Barra said. It acquired Cruise Automation, a San Francisco autonomous vehicle startup, past year to develop and implement the software for the cars. Since buying Cruise, GM has tripled the staff to 150 people and plans to hire 1,100 new employees over the next five years. But he thinks all automakers will soon be mass-producing vehicles that are modified for self-driving as they start to build up larger test fleets.

"The autonomous vehicles you see here today are purpose-built, self-driving test vehicles", Barra said.

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GM won't say how much each vehicle costs.

The carmaker expects the Bolt test fleet to grow to 180, GM said in a statement on Tuesday.

"There are even a couple of cameras that are dedicated just to seeing traffic lights to make sure you don't run red lights", said Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise Automation, a self-driving software development firm GM acquired past year.

Last year, GM invested $500 million into ride-hailing company Lyft Inc.

Barra would not say if GM will test any of the self-driving Bolts in other locations.

Other reports by VgToday

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