The CEO and Chairman of General Motors, Mary Barra, released a statement last Tuesday. This statement covered the readiness at which General Motors is currently standing when it comes to autonomous cars. The corporation has finished manufacturing 130 self-driving Chevrolet Bolt test vehicles. This achievement gives the automaker full confidence that it is capable to deliver the same quality in a large scale roll-out of these models.
Barra mentioned that the vehicles that were manufactured by GM are purpose-built, self-driving test cars. As we discussed in another article, these on the road tests are giving car makers valuable information and data about the improvements they need to make. The vehicles were all manufactured at the Lake Orion plant in Michigan. Their goal was to prove that they can build the autonomous vehicles the same way as any other model they are currently producing. The self-driving cars are fully integrated into the manufacturing process. “No other company has this level of manufacturing, engineering and integration” mentioned Barra.
The Chevrolet Bolt has come a long way since its release. This particular version is the second generation of vehicles capable of handling nearly every situation without a single interference from the driver. Although the car is capable of fully autonomous driving, General Motors has placed drivers in the vehicles in case of unpredictable scenarios. After all, we will all sleep better knowing that someone is still keeping an eye on these robots.
One year ago, GM had began their tests on the streets of Detroit. The company launched 50 Bolt vehicles which were retrofitted with the same sensors that were installed on the ones they built at the Michigan plant. These vehicles were crucial to the success of the second generation and will be replaced by the 130 cars.
The vehicles can be easily identified by the iconic radar system on the roof. Sensors, cameras and transmitters are mounted there in order to ensure the best possible reliability and visibility ahead and behind the vehicle. General Motors has also commented on the dedicated cameras which are used to monitor traffic lights and make sure that no vehicle runs a red light.
Leading the autonomous vehicle revolution is the goal of every auto manufacturer. We’re very excited to observe and report some of the advancements in this field to our readers. In its efforts to stay ahead of the race, GM has recently acquired Cruise Automation, a company who’s specializing in driverless vehicles and their sensing capabilities. In addition to this acquisition, GM has partnered with Lyft and committed to providing the shared ride company with autonomous vehicles.
On the hiring front, General Motors has confirmed that it will be adding over one thousand engineers to its employees. The goal is to establish a presence in the heart of innovation: San Francisco. The Chief Financial Officer of GM has confirmed that the firm is interested in creating an innovation hub in the heart of silicon valley.