GM says it has made 130 self-driving Bolts

GM says it has made 130 self-driving Bolts

Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicles are assembled at General Motors Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan.

Since June 2016, GM tested autonomous cars on public roads with its partners at Cruise Automation, and the trials have been expanded from San Francisco and Scottsdale to Warren, Michigan.

"This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality", said GM CEO Mary Barra. She stated that the new vehicles would help the company to accelerate its testing in city environments.

The self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs feature GM's latest array of equipment, including LiDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware created to accelerate development of a safe and reliable fully autonomous vehicle.

And earlier this year, GM's chief financial officer vowed that the automaker would run its autonomous vehicle development like a Silicon Valley startup, sinking $600 million annually, or $150 million per quarter, into the effort. It acquired Cruise Automation, a San Francisco autonomous vehicle startup, a year ago to develop and implement the software for the cars.

GM is in the process of hiring 1,163 additional engineers and other employees to Cruise Automation and is moving the company to a new headquarters in San Francisco. The rest will be deployed in the three locations soon, GM officials said.

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

Companies have also made similar investments in testing cars on public roads to see how they perform in real-world situations. The carmaker expects to deploy the vehicles within the month in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona, with its ride-sharing affiliate Lyft Inc, after a final test in MI, according to a company representative.

GM does not break out how many vehicles are testing in each location.

GM eventually plans to place self-driving Bolts in ride-hailing fleets in major US cities. When asked whether the automaker could partner with other companies, Barra said the relationship with Lyft was never an exclusive one.

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