Chairman and CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra has confirmed the company has completed the production of 130 Chevy Bolt EVs equipped with self-driving technology. Although the number may be small, this is the first production run of autonomous vehicles.
The 130 new vehicles join more than 50 test and development versions, putting the total fleet at more than 180 vehicles.
New technologies and changing customer needs are helping us transform personal mobility and deliver transportation solutions that are safer, more sustainable and better than ever. We believe one of the best ways to deliver these solutions is through greater access to self-driving electric vehicles deployed in sharing networks.
Last year, GM acquired Cruise Automation. Cruise is a leading Silicon Valley startup that specializes in developing the software that drives our autonomous vehicles. Cruise is moving fast, operating within GM like the startup company it is. This accelerated the development of autonomous driving for GM vehicles which leverage LIDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware.
While the new 130 vehicles won’t yet be sold to the general public (used for further testing), as manufacturers gear up for mass-scale, solving the production challenges of this new technology is an important step in delivering self-driving vehicles to the world.
GM are using the test fleet for real-world development, ensuring the vehicles meet the same strict standards for safety and quality required for all production vehicles sold by the brand. The opportunity to make a real impact on the world is a big one with the US-based National Safety Council estimating that as many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicles crashes in the U.S. alone. Removing humans from that equation is the answer as technology surpasses human capabilities.
Barra says, today’s production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality.