Here's Mary Barra's announcement re autonomous Bolt Production. One question should be answered in Jan/feb: Will the extra equipment will be roof mounted or integral within the body?
GM Plans to Mass-Produce Autonomous Chevy Bolt, Testing Begins in January
By Jon LeSage
General Motors will tap into Michigan’s new self-driving car law and Chevy Bolt production to become the first automaker to mass-produce autonomous vehicles.
GM CEO Mary Barra yesterday said the automaker will “immediately” begin testing self-driving Bolts on public roads near the GM Technical Center in the Detroit area. The company expects the first self-driving Bolts to begin rolling off its assembly line in January.
While the automaker already began testing about 40 self-driving Bolts in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Ariz., the Michigan test runs will be much larger, according to Doug Parks, GM’s vice president of autonomous technology and vehicle execution.
GM will be utilizing Michigan’s broad and liberal autonomous vehicle policy – and its severe weather conditions.
“We’re ensuring that our AVs can operate safely across a full range of road, weather and climate conditions,” Barra said at a news conference.
A week ago, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation that allows automakers and technology partners to develop, test, and sell autonomous vehicles in the state. That policy goes farther than what other states have enacted – allowing for steering wheels and brake pedals to be removed, permission for companies to offer ride-hailing services with autonomous vehicles, and sales to consumers of self-driving cars that have passed testing and certification.
Autonomous Bolts will be assembled at GM’s plant in Orion Township, Mich. That’s where non-autonomous all-electric Bolts are already being built, along with the Chevy Sonic subcompact car. GM workers will be adding to some of the Bolts cameras, sensors, Lidar, and other autonomous technology that will be tested out.