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As part of its general push towards the development and eventual commercialization of self-driving vehicle tech, GM will be building and deploying thousands of self-driving Chevy Bolt EV test cars in 2018, according to unnamed sources cited in an exclusive from Reuters.

Autonomous Vehicles

GM Reportedly Planning To Build & Deploy Thousands Of Self-Driving Chevy Bolt EV Test Cars In 2018

As part of its general push towards the development and eventual commercialization of self-driving vehicle tech, GM will be building and deploying thousands of self-driving Chevy Bolt EV test cars in 2018, according to unnamed sources cited in an exclusive from Reuters.

As part of its general push towards the development and eventual commercialization of self-driving vehicle tech, GM will be building and deploying thousands of self-driving Chevy Bolt EV test cars in 2018, according to unnamed sources cited in an exclusive from Reuters.

These Chevy Bolt test fleets will be deployed as part of a partnership with the popular on-demand taxi service Lyft, going by statements made by the two unnamed sources mentioned above.

If true, what this means is that GM will be the first major auto manufacturer to begin large-scale testing of self-driving cars within the US.

As it stands, the only firm doing anything very similar to what GM will reportedly begin doing in 2018 is Waymo (Google/Alphabet) — that testing is in 4 states and based around 60 or so vehicles. (Tesla’s approach to “testing” self-driving tech is quite different, and arguably much superior as regards development speed.)

Reuters provides more on the GM/Lyft news:

“Most of the specially equipped versions of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle will be used by San Francisco-based Lyft, which will test them in its ride-sharing fleet in several states, one of the sources said. GM has no immediate plans to sell the Bolt AV to individual customers, according to the source.

“The sources spoke only on condition of anonymity because GM has not announced its plans yet. GM executives have said in interviews and investor presentations during the past year they intend to mass-produce autonomous vehicles and deploy them in ride services fleets. However, GM officials have not revealed details of the scale of production, or the timing of the deployment of those vehicles.”

When a comment was requested from GM (by Reuters), this very stock-sounding response was given: “We do not provide specific details on potential future products or technology rollout plans. We have said that our AV technology will appear in an on-demand ride sharing network application sooner than you might think.”

In turn, Lyft chose not to provide a response at all, apparently.

As it stands, GM is now testing self-driving Chevy Bolts in Scottsdale, Arizona, and in San Francisco — with reported plans to begin testing this year in Detroit.

Exciting news. Combined with its recent lobbying efforts as regards autonomous vehicle regulations, it’s clear that the company is pushing hard to be one of the first to market with an autonomous on-demand taxi service, and/or fleet/delivery services.

Photo by Kyle Field

 
 
 
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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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