GM mass produces first autonomous vehicles

Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs produced at GM's Orion Assembly Facility

Published: June 13, 2017, 10:30 PM
Updated: June 21, 2017, 5:01 AM

Chevrolet Bolt EV at Orion Assembly

General Motors continues with its push toward autonomous driving by producing130 Chevrolet Bolts with the company’s latest self-driving technology.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

The electric vehicles represent GM’s achievement of becoming the first mainstream company to use mass-production methods, building the 130 sub-compact hatchbacks at the company’s assembly facility in Orion Township, Michigan. The vehicles are destined for real-word test fleets in San Francisco, Arizona and metro Detroit, joining 50 that are already on the road.

“This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Expansion of our real-world test fleet will help ensure that our self-driving vehicles meet the same strict standards for safety and quality that we build into all of our vehicles.”

The Bolt EVs feature the latest suite of GM self-driving technology, including (LIDAR), cameras, sensors and all the related hardware and software designed to accelerate the development of safe and reliable fully-autonomous operation.

“To achieve what we want from self-driving cars, we must deploy them at scale," said Cruise Automation CEO Kyle Vogt. "By developing the next-generation self-driving platform in San Francisco and manufacturing these cars in Michigan, we are creating the safest and most consistent conditions to bring our cars to the most challenging urban roads that we can find.”

Cruise Automation is the San Francisco start-up that developed self-driving technology and was bought up by GM in May 2016. The Bolt self-driving test vehicles started production at Orion in January 2017.