GM says it has made 130 self-driving Bolts

GM says it has made 130 self-driving Bolts

General Motors announced it has completed production of 130 Chevrolet Bolt test models fitted with self-driving technology at its Orion assembly plant.

GM claims to have become the first company to assemble self-driving test vehicles in a mass-production facility when its next generation of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles began rolling off of the line at Orion Township in January.

Cars have been in testing - in association with Cruise Automation, the self-driving startup GM acquired - in San Francisco, CA; Scottsdale, AZ; and Detroit, MI.

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.

"Our approach over the past year has been to test in challenging, urban, real-world driving environments", Barra said.

Barra said getting individuals into automated vehicles is the key to making them comfortable with the technology.

GM has been working with Lyft on autonomous vehicle research since early previous year, when it invested $500 million in the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company.

What's really important, though, is not just what the autonomous Bolt EV are being built with, but how they're being built. There are approximately 50 of these cars on the road, so this new batch will bring GM's fleet up to a healthy 180 vehicles. The permit allows it to conduct test drives in three vehicles...

"As a result, these self-driving Bolt EV test vehicles leave this factory as state-of-the-art autonomous vehicles".

"To achieve what we want from self-driving cars, we must deploy them at scale", said Cruise Automation CEO Kyle Vogt.

GM owns 9% of the ride-hailing company Lyft, and both GM and Lyft have hinted at an upcoming large-scale test involving "thousands" of self-driving Bolts in Lyft service in several different cities.

While the numbers involved may still be small today, it's part of GM's vision for shifting autonomous vehicles into the mainstream down the road. GM invested $500 million in Lyft past year.

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

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