After the state of Michigan allowed the use of self-driving cars by private citizens, General Motors jumped on this opportunity as the auto giant will begin conducting road tests of their autonomous cars on Michigan's public roads.
“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. Our autonomous technology will be reliable and safe, as customers have come to expect from any of our vehicles,” said said General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
The company said that testing is already ongoing at GM's Technical Center campus in Michigan, and with the Save Act legislation, GM will now expand to public roads.
The test fleet Bolt EVs equipped with fully autonomous technology, will be manufactured at the Orion Township assembly plant, which current builds the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Sonic. The new equipment will include LIDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware designed to ensure system safety.
To explore autonomous vehicle technology, GM formed an engineering team dedicated to developing a self-driving vehicle. It also invested $500 million in Lyft to develop an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in U.S. To speed the development, the company also acquired Cruise Automation.
General Motors said that it has already tested more than 40 self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs on San Francisco and Scottsdale's public roads. In addition, the automaker also announced of producing the next generation of its autonomous vehicles by early 2017.