Drive Around In An Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt – Video

8 months ago by Eric Loveday 37

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Kyle Vogt, CEO Of General Motor’s autonomous driving company Cruise Automation, recently posted the video seen here, which shows us a self-driving Chevrolet Bolt in action in San Francisco.
On board with Vogt is GM president Dan Ammann.

Note that we don’t see the actual car in the video, but Kevin Kelly of GM’s communication team, did confirm that the car in the video is a fully autonomous Bolt (as pictured below).

There are several of these Bolts on public roads in San Francisco right now and more will be hitting the streets of Michigan in the near future.

The Bolt in the video appears to respond exactly as you’d expect it to from the autonomous driving side of things.

Chevrolet Bolt EV With Cruise Automation Tech

Chevrolet Bolt EV With Cruise Automation Tech

The idea is that in the near future, these Bolts will drive to passenger pick-up locations, escort the ride sharer to his or her location, then repeat the process throughout the day. So, at times, and provided the law allows, these Bolts will drive around unoccupied in search of their next ride share passenger.

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37 responses to "Drive Around In An Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt – Video"

  1. Kdawg says:

    I was surprised it could handle some of those situations.

    (need to add some music to the video)

    1. ArkansasVolt says:

      anything but the silence

    2. ffbj says:

      Yeah, pretty much the only one that gave it trouble was the Loomis truck. But once it was clear of on coming traffic it moved ahead.

  2. ffbj says:

    Man what a bunch of crappy drivers, most of the non-automated ones. I suppose with on street deliveries and some old narrow roads, oodles of pedestrians, it a tough obstacle course to navigate. A bit hesitant on minute maneuvers, probably has 8 inch object detection block.

  3. GolfProFred says:

    Model S at 1:51 🙂

    I always wonder how autonomous vehicles will do with a traffic cop stopping traffic. Especially at night and on a bend in the road… (I pass through one of these intersections on my commute home)

    1. Scott Franco says:

      And intersections where streets meet at odd angles, with traffic lights that are fairly ambiguous which streets they point at.

  4. fotomoto says:

    Twice it remained behind double parked commercial vehicles for over :30 secs each time!

    Do you think other drivers behind the autonomous vehicle are going to wait that patiently too? Oh hellz no! LOL Then once they begin driving around the stationary Bolt, it will remain there even longer trying to analyze the ever changing conditions (error loop) as more and more cars continue to go around this bottleneck.

    Still much work needs to be done.

    1. theflew says:

      This is impressive compared to the Model S demo. That demo was in a suburban area. A lot of drivers wouldn’t want to drive in this traffic.

    2. Kdawg says:

      “Do you think other drivers behind the autonomous vehicle are going to wait that patiently too?”
      ————
      Apparently they did, because I didn’t see them swooping around.

  5. Someone out there says:

    Interestingly, not only will self-driving cars kill the taxi driver profession, it will likely also kill Uber. Why would any car manufacturer make self-driving cars and then let someone else reap the benefits of it? Unless Uber is bought by some car manufacturer (like GM bought Lyft) I don’t see how they will be able to compete!

    Uber was hoping that self-driving car would take their business to the next level. More likely is that it will be their downfall!

    1. ANewHope says:

      Agreed, uber and taxis will get killed. No need for uber acting as middleman. Also many car manufacturers will go bankrupt. Figure most people only need a small fraction of a car, the rest of the time it just sits parked. Car sales could drop significantly. ie why own the whole cow, when you only need a fraction of its daily milk output?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I think there is definitely a place for a “middleman”, or at least a service, which will rate individual vehicles (as individual Uber drivers are now rated) and also individual passengers.

        Nobody is going to want to have their car used by a passenger who has a history of vandalizing the vehicle, or throwing up inside the car.

        For that matter, there will be a need to service the cars occasionally, and clean them up when necessary. If the owner is going to be responsible for all that, then I strongly suspect most owners are going to lose interest in letting their cars be used for Uber/Lyft service about the second time someone throws up inside, or the first time someone stains or slashes the seat covers.

        I regard the idea that somehow self-driving cars will magically eliminate all the problems that taxi passengers have with taxi drivers, and the problems taxi drivers have with passengers, as more than slightly naive.

        1. Kdawg says:

          I could see a video chat system set up in each car. It would connect to the central dispatch. One dispatcher could probably handle 10 cars. When people get in, the dispatcher could ask the passengers how they are doing, etc. Basically it would serve two purposes. It would smooth over any automation issues, or other anomalies, and it would also let the passengers know that they are not free to destroy the vehicle just because there isn’t a driver.

        2. Scott Franco says:

          Actually, no. Most of these services are built around knowing exactly who the passenger is, and having a link to their credit card, and clearing a deposit, just like a rental car.

          Loosing $500 tends to damp enthusiasm for vandalism, even if the vandal can cause much more damage than $500.

        3. unlucky says:

          I agree. There has to be a caretaker of some sort. Like a hotel manager. If a room has too much vomit in it it is taken out of service until it is cleaned.

          But if the car companies want to vertically integrate this they can do it. Tesla already changed their terms of use to indicate that owners cannot use the self-driving features of their Tesla for any ride sharing service other than one which is run by Tesla. Or was it approved by Tesla, I forget. That signals that Tesla is going to want to run that show or at least co-run it.

          Uber probably could never create an aftermarket add-on self-driving system that matches the factory ones so if the car companies do what Tesla does they end up on the outside unless they make their own car or give a cut to the car makers.

          In the end I think it does follow to an extend what Someone out there said. It takes Uber out of the driver’s seat in this business.

        4. ANewHope says:

          It is naive to think any solution/technology solves all problems, in fact any solution/technology likely also creates unintended problems (eg maybe autonomous cars increase miles driven and worsen traffic instead of reducing it, as people are willing to undertake longer and longer commutes). So i don’t imagine that a self driving car will eliminate all problems between pax and the “Taxi” service, but figuring out a 5 star rating system is the easy part of autonomous tech.

          GM must have thought they needed that middle man so they bought into Lyft. There obviously will be multiple outcomes/solutions, including those who don’t want to “rent” out their car to others but probably will allow their autonomous car to give rides to their social network (eg. significant other, grandma, kids, friends, etc.), thereby also reducing the need for cars that mostly sit unused.

          But as i said, the ownership model might change, why even own the cow (ie car)? An individual might not be the car owner and won’t need to deal with cleaning up vomit, just as you don’t need to clean up manure to enjoy a glass of milk. The car owner might be Tesla or Mercedes (see car2go.com). Mercedes has figured out a way to manage fractional ownership (pay for what you use), and obviously also manages to pay someone to clean the cars, maintain them, and also deal with the minority of fractional car users who are destructive. They also manage to do this without needing uber.

          One thing that is for sure is fully autonomous cars will be disruptive to the existing state of being. Those who don’t adapt (uber, taxi, car manufacturer) will shrink in relevance and/or go bankrupt.

    2. Doggydogworld says:

      “Why would any car manufacturer make self-driving cars and then let someone else reap the benefits of it?”

      Why would any phone manufacturer let the wireless companies reap the benefits? Why would any TV maker let cable and DirecTV reap the benefits?

      Uber anticipated self-drive from day one. Doesn’t mean they’ll win, but they’ll get their shot.

  6. J P DeCaen says:

    Great tech and I’m eager to see it, but not the news headlines saying Uber
    or Lyft are firing 750 000 drivers because they are expensively redundant. Those are the folks who might want to re elect Trump. These automation companies have to start taking responsibility for this kind of thing. Help create training programs or something. If we pretend that the “perfect” economic system will take care of things, then expect more (big) trouble.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      Uber already treats people like poverty slaves in this area.

      My solution is I would tax the beep out of Uber to have it pay into the massive amounts of long term unemployment insurance we are going to need in the future.

      Uber could however get a fixed tax credit pure driver that they have driving around for a decent wage.

      Other wise tax the living beep out of Uber.

      1. David Cary says:

        Oh yes – tax success (Uber). Because we want to encourage failure….Thankfully in the US, no company is worried about progress getting excessively taxed like that. That thought is perhaps why you mostly (only?) here about real progress here coming from the US. Yes MB has done some but they don’t seem to push the driverless concept. And Volvo is owned by Ford – where is that research done? The heavy hitters are Google, Tesla, GM, Lyft and Uber (as far as I can tell).

        As a physician who has done some trauma work, I am passionate about driverless cars. People look at fatality but the disability in the form of back pain and head injury is equally horrific.

        Automation has put millions out of work. This has happened for over 100 years. 30% of us were farmers in 1920. Today 2% are. I think most people would say we are better for it.

        Retraining might make sense if Uber drivers spent 3 years training to drive a car and now they are out of a job for life. No – guess what – they trade one relatively unskilled job for another. No retraining needed.

        The best way to move to an automated society is for nearly everyone to be able to use their mind. Unfortunately the human race may not be set up for that. We can’t steal kids from the uneducated and educate them better. Tough situation.

        It does explain why the image of the future is often a bit dystopian. Either there are huddled lower class masses that produce nothing and are dependent on the state or personal freedoms are significantly curtailed to prevent the huddled masses.

      2. Kdawg says:

        Why would you single out just Uber? Lots of automation out there. I don’t think it’s Uber’s job to employ the world. Their goal is to get you from A to B.

      3. Scott Franco says:

        Absolutely, establish minimum pay and benefits for Uber drivers, and a pension plan. Add a few lawsuits.

        That should finish Uber.

  7. J P DeCaen says:

    When the efforts against China, Mexico and the immigrants are exhausted and the looming unemployment problems turn the focus towards Silicon Valley, fairly or unfairly, the tech leafers will understand, if they don’t already.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      It happened during the French and Russian Revelations when the ruling glass of nobility didn’t do anything to address the cancer of poverty in their area. And well the day came when the cancer came to eat them up alive.

      1. ffbj says:

        Courtiers: The peasants have no bread.
        Marie Antoinette: Let them eat…Cake!

      2. Scott Franco says:

        Absolutely. Communism deserves a fair chance. Here at insidecommunist car, we understand.

  8. J P DeCaen says:

    Thank you sir. Solutions are priceless things. We need “brainstorming” of this kind. We are going to have to thrash this out. Not everyone will agree on the solutions, but you’re moving the ball forward. It’s not a technology issue but it’s relevant to the advancement of technology since regressive governments can impede progress (climate change denial is an example).

  9. Electrode says:

    At least Tesla showed us the cabin as proof of autonomous driving, this is just a dash cam with no proof that someone isn’t driving the vehicle.

    1. theflew says:

      Come so you’re calling a GM and Cruise executives lairs?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Clearly you have no familiarity with the scientific method. Expressing skepticism regarding evidence is the way knowledge progresses.

        Healthy skepticism regarding claims is a good thing.

        1. Kdawg says:

          CONSPIRACY!!

  10. Glenn L says:

    I live and drive in this part of San Francisco. Last month I was at a busy “T” intersection the is controlled only by red stop signs. There were cars backed up on all streets ready to go into the intersection and waiting to see who would go first. And then in the middle of this appears a pedestrian crossing in front of one of the cars. The Bolt Cruise autonomous car was the most cautious, very timid. It kept its distance from the pedestrian as if not to scare it. Others cars would drive and closer to the pedestrian.

  11. Jason says:

    I wonder if any company will do a VW Dieselgate with autonomous driving, ie: some person with an Xbox controller using remote viewing to drive the car? I imagine the mobile phone data service is pretty good in these cities, so it would be pretty easy to fake, or assist the autonomous car.

    In any case, this is pretty impressive. Tesla was impressive because they showed the processor views, this is impressive because it is reasonably high and complex traffic conditions that the car managed very well.

    It would be great to see the task time video to get a better sense of the hesitations.

  12. Scott Franco says:

    What the heck was that? Guy could have shot that from a skateboard.