General Motors Creates Dedicated Autonomous Driving Team

1 year ago by Mark Kane 14

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

2016 Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt

General Motors is step-by-step gearing up for autonomous driving.

Starting on February 1, work was to be carried out by the new Autonomous and Technology Vehicle Development Team.

In the case of GM, autonomous technology will be developed with big role played by plug-in electric cars (Volt and Bolt):

“Doug Parks, currently vice president, Global Product Programs, is now Vice President, Autonomous Technology and Vehicle Execution. He will lead the team responsible for creating and executing autonomously driven vehicles in addition to advanced technology vehicle programs.

Parks and his team will be the single point accountable for all critical technologies and total vehicle solutions in the areas of electrical architecture, controls and software, system and safety integration, development and validation, sourcing and execution.

Other key GM moves in the autonomous space include:

  • Pam Fletcher, Executive Chief Engineer, Global Electric Vehicles, will add the Autonomous Chevrolet Volt Campus Fleet to her responsibilities. She also will lead a team focused on strategic planning and competitive assessments within the autonomous and electric vehicle space.
  • Sheri Hickok, currently Chief Engineer, Next Generation Light Duty Pick-Up, is appointed Executive Chief Engineer, Autonomous JVs and Fleet Execution. She will lead the execution teams of autonomous fleets and the strategy and development of related key partnerships and joint ventures.
  • Andrew Farah, currently Chief Engineer, Global Electrified Vehicles, is promoted to Chief Technology Architect, Autonomous Systems. Farah will lead the technical activities of the teams empowered to create hardware, software and controls mechanisms which support autonomous vehicles. In addition, he will lead the Global Product Development teams focus on technologies required for autonomous vehicle operations.
  • Scott Miller, currently Director, Global CO2 Strategy, Energy, Mass and Aerodynamics, is appointed Director, Autonomous Vehicle Integration. He will be the technical director for Autonomous feature and controls integration, vehicle and feature validation, and vehicle development teams.”

Source: Green Car Congress

Tags: , , ,

14 responses to "General Motors Creates Dedicated Autonomous Driving Team"

  1. SparkEV says:

    One word: micromouse. Or is that two words? In any case, self driving vehicles have been in existence for about 40 years. It’s just that there aren’t roads for them, yet.

    1. Jychevyvolt says:

      What do you mean? The whole point of future AD is to not rely on roads. 1st gen is all about mapping, radars and cameras. 2nd gen will start communicating with each other.

      Think of Waze on steriod. Vehicles communicating with other vehicles behind the scene.

      1. SparkEV says:

        My point being that AD using simple road modification would’ve been possible for a long time. All the techno gizmos we put in AD cars are to make road shared with people. Take people out of roads, and problem solved (mostly).

        Even just making one lane of freeway “EV AD only” would work well. Then you can read insideevs in your commute while the car drives itself only to have you take over near freeway exit.

  2. kdawg says:

    Good to see Andrew Farah will be working on this.

  3. Anon says:

    Seems a little late? If Tesla is good at anything, it’s getting older, less innovative companies to step up their game…

    1. Jychevyvolt says:

      Telsa is not the benchmark in AD. Not everything revolves around Telsa. Automakers were testing AD before Telsa was even conceived.

      1. Josh says:

        Other automakers have definitely been working on it longer and Google has developed the most advanced prototypes…but as far as what is on the road for consumers, independent reviews call Tesla’s Autopilot the most advanced AD system right now.

      2. s says:

        Agree with this. Tesla is only considered the benchmark in AD because they are playing a very risky game of releasing auto pilot features that other companies are still too scared to release (but have had them in development and testing for years).

        I am a huge Tesla fan, but this is the one thing that concerns me. Getting people killed because of autopilot is a real possibility and will only set back progress because people will (rightfully) freak out.

  4. Texas FFE says:

    It’s still hard for me to believe that Bolt is being tailored for autonomous driving but won’t come with an adaptive cruise control option. As I’ve mentioned before, ACC is the cornerstone of AD.

    1. Josh says:

      Bolt 2.0 will include it, but it won’t be $37.5k.

  5. bacardi says:

    Whoops, they dropped the ball no less than 3 times on the AD, glad to see they’re making someone accountable…
    No AD (or ACC) on the MY16 Volt only to be added for the MY17…
    No AD (or ACC) for the MY17 Bolt…
    No AD in the form of super cruise (GMs version of autopilot) for the Chinese built CT6 plugin for MY17, not will it be retroactive) as previously promised…

  6. Matthias Amrein says:

    A level of autonomous driving features, all the safety aspects including lane departure management, blind spot management, collision avoidance and more should simply be the law, for all cars! It’s 2016, for crying out loud!

  7. Loboc says:

    ACC on my ’14 ELR is a little rough. This tech needs more refinement for prime time. Vids of Tesla tech and subsequent de-tune speak to the early deployment issues.

    Slower moves in this direction are warranted.

  8. cab says:

    We had a loaner Volvo XC90 for a week. It was my first exposure to adaptive cruise control. It was certainly very cool, but ultimately I simply found myself reverting to driving w/o it (imagine that). The most challenging thing (for me) was that ACC doesn’t “look ahead” and thus can’t see the brake lights of vehicles start to come on and thus can’t begin that natural slow down we all do. It only reacts to the car immediately in front of you so if they aren’t reacting smoothly, then neither are you. It’s not horrible, but again isn’t quite as awesome as I had hoped.