Watch More Footage Of Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV In Action

7 months ago by Steven Loveday 15

General Motors’ billion-dollar autonomous vehicle acquisition, Cruise Automation, is hard at work on the development of the autonomous Chevrolet Bolt. As we previously reported, the Bolt was spotted “Cruise”ing San Francisco streets, before the production vehicle had even hit roadways.

Fast forward just a few months and Cruise Automation has started releasing video footage on YouTube. The first installment, entitled “Episode One: Election Day” (below), aired in mid-January. Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise Automation, posted the video to provide a sample of what the company is working on.

Episode Two (above), gives a longer look at the Bolt driving itself. Unfortunately, neither video actually shows the car, and there is no sound. As we clicked, we were expecting some rendition of a familiar Rolling Stones tune or the like, but sadly, the videos are silent. Like a few of Tesla’s self-driving videos, these are also in “fast-forward.” This is done, in part, to show as much as possible in a short time frame. However, it also masks any “imperfect” driving issues.

Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs should also be out on roads in Michigan very soon.

Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV (via Glenn L) - Engineers have given vehicles in the fleet affectionate pet names like Platypus. 

Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV (via Glenn L) – Engineers have given vehicles in the fleet affectionate pet names like Platypus.

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15 responses to "Watch More Footage Of Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV In Action"

  1. Someone out there says:

    That’s not bad at all! Automation has really come a long way, much longer than I anticipated.

  2. JeremyK says:

    Read part of an interview with Mary Barra regarding recent work with Cruise and she describes these types of drives as occurring 100’s of times per day (obviously occurring over multiple test vehicles, in the wild).

  3. Kdawg says:

    What was that fugly thing at 1:50? 😀

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      The Fat Ugly Cousin of Model S? =)

  4. unlucky says:

    It’s funny they put that video inset in the lower left. I didn’t take the people who doubted this was automated very seriously. You can’t beat the negative Nancys in the end, don’t try.

    I don’t get the idea that the faster video is to hide the imperfections of the driving. They’re all still there. It still looks like the car weaves quite a bit on the low-roads with no center lines, no edge lines and parked cars hiding the curb (and I think I might too). Youtube will let you play it at 1/4 speed if you’d like. It seems like it’s less than double real time at that point.

    The faster speed is more likely because watching cars drive in real time is boring. I would expect the real hiding of flaws is done by simply not posting the videos which don’t make the car look good.

    I cannot comprehend how it gets around that truck safely. It stopped so close that it can’t see a thing. First of all, two cars passed this car before it made a move and then when it finally goes a car *isn’t* oncoming. But why? How did it know that? If it got lucky then what happens when it is unlucky, is it capable of backing up to let the other car in front by? Or is it programmed to let the driver take over or simply lean on the horn New York style hoping the other car moves?

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      I don’t really follow autonomous tech closely but that is the kind of situation I would expect to be hard for the car to deal with. Impressive to me at least.

      Did the driver have to put on the turn signal for it to react? It kinda looked like he did… does it recognize the flashers are on in the vehicle ahead? What if the driver does not put the flashers on and is instead just parked in the way or holding their foot on the break? Would it think there was just traffic backed up?

      As far as passing, are there forward facing cameras on the side mirrors so that it can see around obstacles? Which would make sense why it didn’t pass when the other two cars did. It could see a car coming from the opposite direction, or see vehicles behind it with their blinkers on. I’m sure the car is programmed to be way more cautious than an actual human driver would be.

      I hope they eventually release a video like this with some text or voice over that explains a bit of what the car is doing. 🙂

      1. Jason says:

        I wondered about that truck situation as well. I watched it a few times and thought maybe the driver hit the turn indicator, but here in Australia that stalk is on the right hand side so I don’t know if that is the same in USA or on the left, it is a bit inconclusive to me.

        I loved the video Tesla released to show the computer view of the sensors, something like that from GM would be awesome. It would be good to know what detection method it is using. For instance, some of the stop signs are not visible (at least to me), so is it looking at the ground for the lines on the road, or the signs at the side of the road, or a combination of both? Or is it using GPS coordinates to know the intersection of a stop sign? In Australia we have the same sort of sign, but different lines. And if it is detecting the lines, then how often are they degraded and cannot be clearly seen?

        I think the sped up version highlights the wobble from side to side. I agree humans do that as well, but I think one thing it does not do is look right down the road and pick a driving line, it seems to be looking a short way ahead and continuously adjusting. Is I drive sine of these routes I would see a car with the bum out, or some road works in the middle and pick a straight line and them, not drive straight towards them and then deviate.

        Maybe it is sped up because the car is only doing 10mph ha ha.

        Notice when it goes past those virtical posts how slow it goes, obviously considering each individual post rather than understanding they are a group.

        Still very impressive and pointing towards a solid autonomous future.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “…the turn indicator, but here in Australia that stalk is on the right hand side so I don’t know if that is the same in USA or on the left…”

          In the USA it’s on the left of the steering wheel column.

    2. Kdawg says:

      Maybe they were bouncing the signal off the street, under the truck.

      1. unlucky says:

        Could be. Although GM is a large proponent of using visual only sensing. They do their distance following and automatic braking that way when seemingly everyone else uses radar. I would expect their self-driving to emphasize visual too.

      2. Four Electrics says:

        I wonder if vehicles could use microphone arrays to accurately triangulate noisy ICEs they cannot see. In this case my bet is on a camera or solid state lidar on the driver’s mirror.

  5. Kdawg says:

    “Engineers have given vehicles in the fleet affectionate pet names like Platypus.”
    ———–
    When I saw the text “Dolores Park”, I thought the engineers had named the car Dolores after the AI character in Westworld and it was going to be a video of her parking.

  6. ffbj says:

    Pretty good. A bit less traffic and sticky situations than in the first video.

  7. Shawn Marshall says:

    I think highway driving is more important. I got a map of highway deaths on I-81 from Roanoke VA south over the last 5 years. It is horrible.

  8. Four Electrics says:

    With luck, San Francisco bicycle deaths have peaked.