Watch As The Self-Driving Chevrolet Bolt Is Built Before Your Eyes – Video

2 months ago by Steven Loveday 17

In less than one minute, we see a Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicle assembled.

The self-driving Chevrolet Bolt test vehicles are manufactured at the General Motors Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan. While they aren’t assembled in one minute, you can bet that it all happens pretty fast, although it’s not primarily an automated process.

Chevrolet Bolt

The large computer/hardware unit that fits in the Chevrolet Bolt’s hatch.

The cars come down the line partially deconstructed so that workers can attach sensors on the outside of the vehicle and hardware inside. The roof rack goes on first, consisting of lidar modules, cameras, and side-mounted articulating radar units. A large unit consisting of the computer and other hardware fits inside the hatch of the Chevrolet Bolt and a tablet goes up front in the middle of the dash.

GM just announced the completion of 130 autonomous Chevrolet Bolt test vehicles.   The vehicles will join the more than 50 current-generation self-driving Bolt EVs already deployed in testing fleets in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and metro Detroit.

This proves that the company has the capability to mass-produce the cars. Mary Barra made the announcement in front of a large group employees Tuesday at the facility.

“This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality. Expansion of our real-world test fleet will help ensure that our self-driving vehicles meet the same strict standards for safety and quality that we build into all of our vehicles.”

Barra also shared (via the Detroit Free Press):

“The autonomous vehicles you see here today are purpose built, self-driving test vehicles. The level of integration in these vehicles is on par with any of our production vehicles, and that is a great advantage. In fact, no other company today has the unique and necessary combination of technology, engineering and manufacturing ability to build autonomous vehicles at scale.”

Gallery (below): Autonomous Chevy Bolt EV production

Source: Freep

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17 responses to "Watch As The Self-Driving Chevrolet Bolt Is Built Before Your Eyes – Video"

  1. Kdawg says:

    As the technology develops, the autonomous vehicles will look less & less like the Ecto 1.

    1. Henry Rose says:

      Good one Kdawg! All that gear on top just added to the GhostBusters’ cool factor. GM’s version, not so much!

  2. anon says:

    Hideous. Obviously taxi market only.

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      When it does come to market in a few years, it certainly will not look like this.

      And will probably be for ride sharing/taxi purposes first as you mention.

  3. FISHEV says:

    Good grief. These are TEST vehicles. Production vehicles would have it all integrated into the body. We see the same on the Google and other TEST vehicles.

    GM’s doing a decent job on EV’s. Volt and Bolt rival the Tesla’s in sales in US and overseas on US EV tech with US made products, US jobs.

    If Bolt had dynamic cruise, I’d have bought one after my test drive. Nice car, great utility hatchback, good range, fast DC recharge if you need it.

    GM’s done a really nice job on its EV R&D and engineering to the point of partnering with University of MI to graduate electrical engineers to work on the cars.

    https://www.wired.com/2016/01/gm-electric-car-chevy-bolt-mary-barra/

    Enough with the nattering nabobs of negativism.

  4. HVACman says:

    Finally – the pinnacle of automotive production automation – a car that can drive itself off the assembly line and straight to the QC re-work area! 🙂

    1. FISHEV says:

      Interesting comment by Insideevs about Tesla X QC.

      “…although one can debate whether or not its [Tesla X] fit and finish qualifies it for the premium segment – its performance certainly does.”

      http://insideevs.com/audi-e-tron-suv-confirmed-for-2018-with-300-mile-500-km-electric-range/

      While Bolt EV got great Consumer Report (and MotorTrend and WIRED) reviews and no issues to date.

    2. Bacardi says:

      If you actually watch the video you’ll see that there is a driver driving it at the end…

  5. Scott Franco says:

    What the heck is that in back? It looks like an engine. A computer? What is it driven by an Atari? Gackkkkkkkkkk

    1. john Doe says:

      It is the computational unit for all the lidars on top.
      The lidars are very expensive, and there is a reason Tesla use cheap cameras insted.
      Even though lidars have several advantages.
      When the Tesla crashed in the white big rig, it would not have happened if it was fitted with a lidar.

      The computational unit would of course be MUCH smaller, and integrated behind the dash in a production unit.

      The lidars could be made to pop out of when in use, and be fully integrated.

      This is for testing only, and/or mapping.
      They can use a combination of cameras and lidars to make a 3D image/environment that self driving vehicles can use as a reference for later use – downloaded via 5G networks for examples.
      The implementation of the science and engineering of this is a field that is focused on at the moment.
      Cheaper lidars will come. They cost a fraction of what they used too. Still too expensive.. but we’re getting there.
      VW have integrated lidars in their prototype wehicles. Not at many as this have, but to get a better more accurate 3D environment for the computer to analyze.
      Computer power and software can to a certain extent reduce the need for a lidar – but I would not trust a self driving car that is not fitted with one. Even though there are just a few situations where a camera can not do the job good enough.
      There is a lot of work involved in the semiconductor industry to specialize chips for massive data. The core design utilise some of the features a fast multi function copier handles data scanned at very high speed.

  6. unlucky says:

    Wow, the sef-driving electronics are bigger than I thought. That poor car is saddled with Ford Focus Electric-levels of junk in the trunk.

  7. Jason says:

    I think Mary Barra needs to see a video of the Tesla factory so she can see what mass production of an autonomous (almost) vehicle looks like

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Claiming that Tesla is autonomous even with “almost” tag is a bit too far in my opinion.

  8. Rapscalion says:

    Considering those are just test vehicles, GM is a long way from production with autonomous driving capability.

  9. Bacardi says:

    Some key takeaways…

    Appears they assemble the Bolt and add the AV gear all by hand after the Bolt is fully assembled…
    Still an amazing amount of humans working on the assembly process…We saw the Bolt EV assemble video which showed the ICE Sonic hatchback being assembled with lots of human help…
    Huge computer/equipment is installed in the cargo area, while I’m sure downsizing it isn’t a priority at the moment it’ll probably be years to get it production ready…

  10. Phr≡d says:

    open the pod bay doors..

  11. Terry says:

    Bolt looks like a great vehicle. However there is no supercharging network. Maybe Tesla will install level 3 chargers at their supercharger sights. long distance charging is needed for EVs

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