General Motors CEO Discusses Autonomous Driving, Chevy Bolt, Future Mobility

9 months ago by Steven Loveday 20

General Motors is testing the autonomous Chevrolet Bolt on public roads in multiple locations including San Francisco, CA, Scottsdale, AZ, and Detroit, Michigan.

General Motors is testing the autonomous Chevrolet Bolt on public roads in multiple locations including San Francisco, CA, Scottsdale, AZ, and Detroit, Michigan.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra spoke with Wall Street analysts on a recent conference call, and highlighted the company’s plans and successes with regards to autonomous driving, future mobility, and the Chevrolet Bolt.

Of recent meetings with President Trump, Barra said: “We’ve had a very constructive and positive conversation about the regulatory environment and putting safety at the forefront and doing the right thing for the environment, but looking at the opportunities to streamline and enable technology.”

She said that the company is increasing its progress on autonomous technology on a weekly basis. With self-driving Chevrolet Bolts racking up miles in San Francisco, CA and Scottsdale, AZ, and now the addition of southeast Michigan, near Detroit. She explained:

“We’ve accelerated our progress on autonomous (vehicles), and that progress is happening on a weekly basis, not monthly or quarterly.”

Cruise Automation, the San Francisco-based autonomous driving startup recently acquired by GM for $1 billion, has started posting videos of the company’s work and progress with the autonomous Chevrolet Bolt. Barra said that over 40 vehicles are being tested on public roads thus far, performing hundreds of drives per day.

GM’s car-sharing startup, Maven, was the other topic visited during the call. Maven runs a fleet of about 10,000 GM cars in the U.S. The service currently has 23,321 member in 17 markets, logging a total of 73.68 million miles to date. Basically, you can use an app and locate a nearby GM vehicle to rent for under $10 per hour. Barra said:

“We made remarkable progress last year in technology and innovation, especially in the game-changing technologies that are helping us redefine personal mobility.”

“We are learning a great deal about developing transportation as a service in urban markets due to our work with Maven.”

Aside from Maven’s car-sharing app, the service also has a Maven Home and a Maven Business division. The Home service is specific to closed residential communities, and the Business service allows drivers from Lyft- and Uber-type companies to rent GM vehicles. Maven Business has a fleet of over 5,000 vehicles (aside from the 10,000 mentioned above). Both the Home and Business services are adding the Chevrolet Bolt to their fleets.

Maven gives more people the opportunity to drive GM vehicles, and more specifically, to experience the Chevrolet Bolt. GM hopes that it will lead to people buying the company’s vehicles, and to spreading the word about the Bolt. It also acts as a cost-effective way for the company to deal with off-lease cars and returned rental vehicles. This type of service could become the future of transportation, as car ownership, especially in urban areas, is declining.

Barra didn’t provide details as to how much of GM’s budget is funneling toward these ventures, but she did say that much more information, along with “key milestones”, will be revealed later this year.

Source: WardsAuto

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

20 responses to "General Motors CEO Discusses Autonomous Driving, Chevy Bolt, Future Mobility"

  1. no comment says:

    this shows the extent to which elon musk has changed the conversation when it comes to automobiles to one that it technology-focused. set aside the fact that all of this stuff is going to go through a regulatory process before it actually gets deployed on a large scale, the conversation has definitely changed thanks to elon musk.

  2. Texas FFE says:

    Rhetoric!

    According the Maven app there is only one Bolt to rent in the whole country. It rents for $12 per hour. With only one car Maven is not going to be very affective selling the Bolt.

    You would figure that with a couple of dozen autonomous Bolts, GM could build production cars with adaptive cruise control. I guess they are waiting to provide ACC when a lot of Bolt owners will feel they need to upgrade their Bolt. Oh well, business as usual.

    1. Kdag says:

      I don’t see in the app where a Bolt EV is even an option. I also don’t see where they said that they’ve added Bolt EVs for public rental. They said they’ve been added to “Home and a Maven Business division.”

      “The Home service is specific to closed residential communities, and the Business service allows drivers from Lyft- and Uber-type companies to rent GM vehicles”

      1. WadeTyhon says:

        If you zero in on the LA area you can chose the Bolt. It looks like a bumble bee with the yellow and black coloring lol.

        I have the app to check on Volt availability in Denver. For that city it doesn’t give an option for the Bolt. It will only let you chose the Bolt if it’s available in the area you’re looking at.

        1. Kdawg says:

          Weird. When I type in “Los Angeles” and search, it doesn’t give it as an option. But when I choose “Los Angeles” from the drop down, it does.

    2. WadeTyhon says:

      Lol relax!

      I’m surprised they already have one since they only formally announced it about a week ago. More are coming soon. 100 or so to the LA area alone.

  3. Bill Howland says:

    Getting any information out of GM is rather like pulling teeth.

    As an example the BOLT ev videos have a one called “CHARGING”.

    In it, you learn that you can charge at a supermarket, or you can also charge at HOME!

    (This is definitely not the stuff for a previous EV owner)..

    On the bright side, apparently when you buy a BOLT ev with a 60 kwh battery, you can really use 60 kwh out of it, not 50 or some other horrible number.

  4. a-kindred-soul says:

    You are asking new EPA chief Pruitt to lower the emissions target, GM. That’s your true philosophy and the Volt and Bolt are just greenwashing.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Give it a rest.

      If Bolt works for you, then buy the Bolt and stop buying the GM ICE cars.

      This entire boycotting of a company/brand for their business decision is just stupid. It happens on both liberal and conservative side.

      I don’t like Trump, but I find those calls to boycott retailers absolutely stupid. If you want to make a difference, then stop buying the Trump merchandises at those retailers and buy other brands, but don’t boycott the retailer.

      Making a business into a political fight is stupid. If you truly want GM and other automakers to join us and change the attitude, then show them that EV demand is there by ONLY buying their EVs, but not their ICE models. That will show where the demand is and they will change accordingly.

      EV1 failed partly because there were FAR MORE demand coming from Hummers than EV1 fanatics.

      1. Michael Will says:

        If that is so, then tell me, how many SUV commercials did they have on superbowl or other prime time compared to EV1 commercials? Oh they only did SUV commercials because that is what people want?

        As a potential GM stock holder, I worry about the direction they are going. On the one hand they are having the Bolt with the promise to become autonomous and are invested into Lyft and could ramp up a successful business. On the other hand the majority of their business is petrolhead business which in the long run will go away.

        Are they going to one day spin out Chevrolet Electric and Lyft/Autonomous driving assets into a new company that the GM stock holder does no longer participate in? Then GM stock will plummet. Or are they going through the full restructuring process in one unit?

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Advertisement return is always questionable to start with.

          It is ineffective as proven by this election cycle.

          Trump used the big data approach to target its audience which is far more effective. GM is talking about using “targeted” ads as well.

          Mass ads don’t work on potential EV buyers at all. My internet is blasted with Bolt ads. I can’t go to a page without seeing it. Maybe it is because I am selected as a potential buyer.

          Mass ads are proportioned to potential sales. If 30K is the potential market, then they will only allocated that much out of the GM’s entire sales fleet proportionally.

          History showed that even when GM did do the ads, the sales still didn’t go up.

          As far as Superbowl ads are concern, recent studies have shown it is a waste of money.

          If you are claiming that you are potential stock holder, then you would have been more satisfied with GM’s approach of hedging the bet in the future with Bolt EV while keeping the current profit going. It is also catering to all spectrums of buyers which is exactly what business needs to do. But I don’t find your claim of stock holder being truth at all unless you have certain holding in the form of Mutual Funds that you have no specific control of.

          Either way, your point about ads are baseless when the fact claims that NO PEV has ever sold more than 31K/year.

          Even Tesla’s M3 is yet to know how many will be sold in the US vs. the rest of the world and the unknown conversation rate is also unknown at this point.

        2. WadeTyhon says:

          EV1 success and failure is hard to quantify in its sales. There were no sales.

          There was a fixed number of vehicles that were only being leased out.

          It was a proof of concept testbed that doubled as a compliance vehicle.

          The information learned led pretty directly to the development of the Chevy Volt that was revealed about 4 years after the death of the EV1.

          As far as the stock? Why are you making up scenerios about spinning off parts of the company? Or have You got inside information? XP

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            WadeTyhon said:

            “EV1 success and failure is hard to quantify in its sales. There were no sales…

            “It was a proof of concept testbed that doubled as a compliance vehicle.”

            Right. It’s pretty pointless to talk about advertising the EV1. Since it was a test market vehicle, it wasn’t priced to be profitable. GM spending money to on TV ads for the EV1 would have been pointless, and a waste of money, because regardless of demand it would have been counterproductive for GM to have ramped up the production. That would have cost them even more money.

            I get annoyed when people falsely claim that GM was “losing money” on every Volt, or that Tesla is “losing money” on every one of its cars. But GM really was losing money on every EV1.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I think this is an issue on which reasonable people can disagree.

        I do understand why some people say we should boycott GM and all other auto makers who support the effort to roll back the CAFE standards, and to weaken the attempts to reduce exhaust pollution, and to weaken the attempts to promote PEVs.

        On the other hand, refusing to buy the Bolt EV will just reinforce GM’s claim that there is almost no market for PEVs.

        If there was a large variety of compelling PEVs to choose from, then I would say by all means boycott every PEV from GM and any other legacy auto makers that’s fighting stricter pollution standards.

        But there isn’t a lot of variety. If you want a “semi-affordable” 200+ mile BEV, then your choices are either the Bolt EV or wait for a Tesla Model 3. That’s it. There are no other choices, period.

        Someday there will be dozens or even hundreds of models of highway-capable, four-wheel PEVs to choose from. But that day is not today, it’s not tomorrow, and it’s not next year. In the mean time, isn’t refusing to buy the Bolt EV letting the perfect drive out the good?

        I think so. But that’s just my opinion, and I think we should respect the opinion of those who say we should boycott every car made by legacy auto makers; every car including the Bolt EV.

        I hope they’ll respect our opinion, too.

        1. Rightofthepeople says:

          Very well said. Some will boycott GM, some will not and choose to buy Bolt in order to energize the EV movement. As long as we respect each other’s opinions and decisions on this issue, we can disagree but remain on the same team. That is, team EV.

          1. ffbj says:

            Well if you are not a fan of GM then buy one anyway if it suits you, since many claim that GM loses money on these. So you’re killing the proverbial two birds with one stone.
            Logic is a harsh mistress.

  5. Bob Nan says:

    Dear Madam Barra

    What is more important is the sales of Electric Vehicles and not the Autonomous Vehicles.

    So please expand the sale of Bolt to all the states as soon as possible and also increase its sales to match the volume of Toyota Prius.

    1. ffbj says:

      Sure, Bob. I will get on that right away..and don’t call me Madam..M. Barra

  6. unlucky says:

    Self-driving Bolt involved in accident in San Francisco.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Self-driving-car-involved-in-SF-accident-10958654.php

    I won’t give away the details, click to see or wait for insideevs to summarize it.