General Motors And Lyft To Test Self-Driving Chevrolet Bolt EV Taxi In 2017

2 years ago by Mark Kane 23

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

General Motors and Lyft Inc. today announced a long-term strategic alliance to create an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the U.S.

General Motors and Lyft Inc. announced a long-term strategic alliance to create an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the U.S.

General Motors and Lyft, after announcing a long-term strategic alliance to create an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles, are gearing-up to release self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, autonomous Bolt EV taxis should appear within a year.

However at this stage there are no details about which city the project will debut in, or how many cars will make up the test fleet.

The company says that its customers will have the ability to opt in or out of the pilot when using Lyft’s mobile app.

Setting aside the test program, GM says it aims to use Lyft as primary user for the Bolt EV, displacing many vehicles such as the Chevy Equinox.

While GM recently invested $500 million into Lyft rideshare company, autonomous driving technology comes via San Francisco-based Cruise Automation, which was acquired by GM for $1 billion.

Separately yesterday, Google (Alphabet) announced it was expanding its self-driving car project utilizing the upcoming 2017 Chrysler Pacifica PHEV minivan.

source: The Wall Street Journal

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23 responses to "General Motors And Lyft To Test Self-Driving Chevrolet Bolt EV Taxi In 2017"

  1. pjwood1 says:

    This will work great for an urban commuter BEV, like the Bolt. No need to worry about the lack of charging, when keeping it in town.

  2. Kdawg says:

    If there’s no driver, I wonder if they will let another passenger sit in the driver’s seat? That means an autonomous Bolt could haul 5 adults, instead of 4 and the driver. I know in the past, I have had to get 2 cabs because there wasn’t room for all of us in 1 cab.

    1. ffbj says:

      Well, when you take up the whole back seat all by yourself…

    2. Bacardi says:

      They did say “TEST”…The future will change…
      There’s endless negotiations…Car companies want to fully get rid of driver controls aka just have a dashboard without steering wheels…States want licensed and insured drivers behind the wheel for backup…Will be interested to see who wins…

      1. kdawg says:

        I think you are always going to need some kind of backup manual controls. If the autopilot system goes down for any reason, you will still need a way to move the vehicle other than a tow truck.

    3. sven says:

      I miss the old Checker cabs with their fold-away jump seats. They could easily hold seven passengers, with a three-person back seat, two fold-away jump seats in the back, and room for two passengers to sit in the front-row bench seat. You could even fit an eighth passenger in a Checker cab if those sitting in the back seat didn’t mind getting cozy and didn’t have a large girth.

      http://www.pixxcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Checker-6-1000×1289.jpg

      http://www.pixxcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Checker-9-1000×737.jpg

    4. Jacked Beanstalk says:

      You won’t fit three average-sized Americans in that back seat without a lot of pushing and stuffing. And I really wonder about range when hauling a half ton of human (4 x 250 lb).

      1. kdawg says:

        OK, I’ll just rephrase to “hauling 4 people instead of 3”. My point was more about letting someone sit in the driver’s spot.

        With a 200 mile range battery, I don’t think hauling 4 people 15 miles is going to be an issue.

      2. Dan says:

        The average American weighs 175 lb. I don’t know a single person who weighs 250 lb.

        1. sven says:

          The average American weighs 175 lbs? Are you sure you’re not talking about just the women. 😉

        2. wavelet says:

          Average US adult is ~180lbs (averaging male & female numbers from here:
          http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm . That’s not including clothes, shoes, personal luggage etc.

          Decades ago, it used to be that for purposes of the airline industry (where the actual weight carried matters very much for optimal fuel loads), an adult weighed 154 pounds… Including clothes/shoes.

          1. kdawg says:

            In a car with regenerative braking that is 80% efficient, weight doesn’t mean much, especially compared to aerodynamics.

  3. G2 says:

    So if GM isn’t making it’s own batteries, has to get a limited supply from LG?(?), how is it going to meet customer demand as well as supply taxi fleets?

    This must be just a stunt.

    1. Goaterguy says:

      Demand will increase gradually.

      1. Alaa says:

        Yes demand will increase, but not gradually. Let us suppose that Tesla sells 200,000 cars next year, then demand will much higher than today. Maybe exponentially.

    2. alohart says:

      Why should batteries from LG, Samsung, etc., be limited just because GM or any auto manufacturer isn’t making its own batteries? All independent battery manufacturers are businesses wanting to maximize their profits which means building the manufacturing capacity necessary to supply their customers. Being in the battery manufacturing business likely means that they would be more capable than any auto manufacturer at securing the raw materials and manufacturing equipment and being able to predict what will be required in the future since these manufacturers are usually developing new more energy-dense battery cells.

      1. Cavaron says:

        Because they underestimate the demand. Panasonic delivers to Tesla and Tesla additionally increased production together with panasonic, recreating the LiOn battery world production in a new factory.

        LG and Samsung supply many car manufacturers and they also built new factories – but nothing as dramatical as recreating the world wide production times 2
        two.

        Sure, they will see demand as soon as it’s there and they will built gigafactories of their own… ready in two years or so after they realise they will be needed.

    3. Jacked Beanstalk says:

      Extra shifts. LG has battery plants all over the world, including one right here in Michigan (which oddly enough is NOT slated to produce Bolt batteries. But it could if demand requires it).

      Let’s not put the cart in front of the horse, though. This is GM we’re talking about. Their managers are highly skilled at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. GM engineers designed the best extended range hybrid on the planet and the managers and marketers can barely sell it.

  4. Bacardi says:

    Sounds to me like these Bolts will gain supercruise…Hope they offer this to the public, the Bolt needs something to be competitive…

  5. HVACman says:

    Urban for-hire autonomous taxis will revolutionize urban transportation. EV-taxi-specific parking lots with banks of wireless chargers will hold taxi EV’s ready for dispatch. They do their run and either are re-dispatched to another customer or return to the nearest EV-taxi parking/charging lot with available space. This will improve urban transporation efficiency, reduce parking issues, further advance the movement to reduce private vehicle ownership in urban areas.

    During the reveal, GM made it clear the Bolt was designed with this market in-mind. A functional electric people-mover with minimal footprint and maximal passenger space and ease of entry/exit. Not sexy, but functional. It is a lot easier to sell the economics of EV’s to major fleet owners – they buy for overall operating cost, not emotion, and fleet sales bypass the retail “dealer” EV roadblock that GM is saddled with. So maybe GM really doesn’t care about what Tesla does with the Model 3’s 400,000 reservations. They see a different market sweet spot.

    1. sven says:

      I’m not sure that I’d want to own a Bolt if it becomes known as the ubiquitous EV taxi. Back in the day, I bought an used NY State Trooper car (with the very fast/powerful police interceptor engine) at a state auction, and got a cheap paint job to make it one color. Driving around the mean streets of NYC, people constantly mistook it for a gypsy cab and would try to hail me for a fare. Sometimes, when I was stopped at a traffic light people would open up the back door and jump in asking for a ride. One time, two Spanish ladies who spoke very, very limited English jumped into the back seat and demanded that I take them to their destination. I tried telling them that it wasn’t a taxi, and they kept telling me: no, no, no, I have to take them where they want to go. The police ended up getting involved to finally get them out of my car. At first, the police (who also didn’t speak Spanish) thought that I had already given them a cab ride, and that I had short changed them on the fare since my passengers had money in their hands and were yelling their heads off. The police wanted to arrest ME(!!!) for operating a unregistered gypsy cab without a hack/taxi license. Only in New York.

      1. Josh says:

        Great story!!!

  6. Ocean Railroader says:

    I’m going to be as mad as a Bluegill if I can’t sit in the driver’s seat of this car stoned or drunk as a shrunk and get pulled over when though the car was driving. But the Cop saw me sleeping on the steering wheel while going 70 miles on hour down the freeway.

    But the reality is I think something like this might end up going to the top Court in the Land sooner or later with self driving cars.