Following on the release last month of a dash-cam video showing a reportedly self-driving Chevy Bolt EV traveling around San Francisco, Cruise/GM has now released another video. This time, though, the video also shows footage taken inside the car as it drives around — seemingly the result of the company taking earlier complaints/criticisms into account.
As you may recall, in the comments section of our earlier coverage some people expressed skepticism that the Bolt EV was driving all or most of the time. Presumably, Dan Amman reads CleanTechnica. 😉
Notably, the footage was all from a single take, and was not scripted or planned in advance, according to Cruise Automation CEO Kyle Vogt. A recent statement from the exec reads: “This video was captured from one of our autonomous vehicles during a series of back to back test rides. No advance planning was done, and this was captured in a single take. The operator selected a random destination using the Cruise mobile app, pushed a button, and the vehicle started moving. Rides like this occur hundreds of times per day across our test fleets.” The code name for this particular autonomous Bolt EV is “Albatross.”
So the company’s self-driving tech development efforts certainly seem to be coming along well.
The Verge provides more: “Recently, GM disclosed that its fleet of self-driving cars drove a combined 9,776 miles in California in 2016. The cars disengaged, or dropped out of autonomous mode, 181 times, for a disengagement rate of 18.5 per 1,000 miles.”
As a reminder here, GM owns a large stake in the on-demand taxi service Lyft (and tried to buy it completely in 2016), and Lyft execs are on record saying that they expect a majority of their trips to be made via self-driving cars by 2021. Who knows if they’ll achieve that goal or not, but that’s apparently what they “expect.” Lyft drivers were reportedly some of the first to get the Bolt EV, which is pioneering self-driving tech … as you can see above.
Interestingly, the coverage from The Verge included a statement from a GM rep that explained that the company is currently utilizing an app “developed for employees to use on a test basis for obtaining an autonomous ride to and from work. We have been offering this to some of our employees for a couple of months now.” A sensible way to test out the new technology, I’d say.