Two autonomous Chevrolet Bolt prototypes have been spied undergoing testing in San Francisco, California.
Decked out with a variety of cameras and sensors, the high-tech prototypes are likely being tested as part of the "long-term strategic alliance" between General Motors and Lyft. According to an unnamed Lyft executive who spoke to The Wall Street Journal earlier this year, the two companies are creating a fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolts that will be used as part of a pilot program in an undisclosed city sometime next year.
The program hasn't been officially announced but previous reports have indicated Lyft users will be given the option of being picked up by an autonomous Bolt. If the user agrees, the Bolt will automatically to drive to their location, pick them up, and take them to their destination. Once the trip is complete, the Bolt will drive away to be recharged or to pick up another passenger.
Unfortunately, regulations haven't kept up with technology so the autonomous Bolts will have a driver who will intervene if something goes wrong. This is only temporary as the ultimate goal is to create a fully autonomous taxi that doesn't require a driver.
Interestingly, one of the prototypes appears to be overseen by Cruise Automation CEO Kyle Vogt. This isn't terribly surprising as General Motors announced plans to acquire the company earlier this year in an attempt to beef up its autonomous driving efforts.