Production will begin early next year at the Orion Township assembly plant.

Chevy kicked off assembly of Bolt customer cars in the first half of November and delivered the first units earlier this week in California. General Motors through the voice of its Chairman and CEO Mary Barra has revealed the same factory in Orion Township, Michigan where the standard Bolt comes to life is going to be in charge of putting together the autonomous test cars starting early 2017.

The announcement comes almost a year after GM’s decision to form a dedicated autonomous vehicle engineering team and make a $500-million investment in ride-sharing service Lyft in a bid to create a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles. To speed up development, GM bought Cruise Automation for $1 billion back in March and in June started testing autonomous Bolt EVs on the public roads of San Francisco and Scottsdale where it already has more than 40 autonomous vehicles.

Chevy Bolt autonomous test car
Chevy Bolt autonomous test car

In addition, GM is also running a series of tests at its Technical Center campus in Warren, Michigan and will soon expand onto public roads on the facility’s outskirts now that the SAVE Act legislation has been signed. In just a few months, testing is going to be expanded to metro Detroit set to become the company’s main area for developing autonomous driving technologies in winter climates.

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These Bolt EVs will be equipped with LIDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware as well as with the suitable software to perfect the technology and make autonomous driving more feasible.

Speaking at an event organized yesterday, Mary Barra said:

“Revolutionizing transportation for our customers while improving safety on roads is the goal of our autonomous vehicle technology, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to making this vision a reality.”

Source: General Motors


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