GM Commits $100 Million To Produce Autonomous Chevy Bolts

APR 1 2018 BY MARK KANE 20

General Motors announced an over $100 million investment to upgrade its Orion and Brownstown facilities for production versions of its Cruise AV.

GM takes next step toward future with self-driving vehicle manufacturing in Michigan

Series production of the fourth-generation Cruise AV (self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs) is to start in 2019 as GM intends to go large-scale.

So far, more than 200 Cruise AV prototypes were made.

Production of the autonomous version takes place in parallel to Bolt EV production, which is going to increase at the Orion Township assembly plant too.

The roof modules with all the stuff required to get rid of the driver will be assembled at its Brownstown plant.

“After more than a year of building test vehicles for development of its self-driving technology, General Motors today announced it will build production versions of its Cruise AV at its Orion Township assembly plant in Michigan. Roof modules for GM’s self-driving vehicles will be assembled at its Brownstown plant.

The Cruise AV, which the company plans to commercialize in 2019, is the first production-ready vehicle built from the ground up to operate safely on its own with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls.”

Cruise Automation – Chevrolet Bolt EV

“GM will invest more than $100 million to upgrade both facilities. Roof module production has already begun and production of the fourth generation Cruise AV is expected to begin in 2019.

Since January 2017, UAW Local 5960 workers at the Orion plant have assembled three generations of Cruise self-driving test vehicles for use in the most challenging urban environments, including downtown San Francisco. More than 200 of the test vehicles have been assembled at Orion.”

“Workers at GM’s Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant will expand their capabilities by adding roof module production for all of Cruise’s self-driving vehicles. The roof modules integrate special equipment for AV operation such as LIDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware, and will be assembled on a dedicated line at the facility. The Orion plant will continue to build the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Sonic as well as the Cruise AV.”

Read Also – Uber Orders 24,000 Plug-In Hybrid Volvo XC90s

GM President Dan Ammann said:

“We’re continuing to make great progress on our plans to commercialize in 2019. Our Orion and Brownstown teams have proven experience in building high-quality self-driving test vehicles and battery packs, so they are well-prepared to produce the Cruise AV.”

Cindy Estrada, vice president and director, UAW General Motors Department said:

“The UAW is committed to preparing our members for the future of advanced mobility and this investment recognizes our willingness to work together to build these self-driving vehicles. Whether it involves traditional vehicles or advance technology, our members are highly capable of delivering great products.”

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20 Comments on "GM Commits $100 Million To Produce Autonomous Chevy Bolts"

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Uber and Tesla are ****ing up the AV scene. Let’s hope GM can make up for their failures are restore confidence in AV tech!

Bolt finally to put in active cruise control 2 years after its release and 10 years after cars costing a lot less have gotten it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait…april fools the bolt still doesn’t have something as basic as ACC or even a garage door opener.

Don’t worry Tesla will continue to lead the way.

Bro before you bring up the most recent model X crash like you have carpet bombed all over the internet. Did you notice that the resettable barrier was collapsed making the wreck as bad as it was? This means a non autopilot car hit it first.

We can only hope when the first person is killed using the bolts autonomous feature that we don’t have anyone that is disgusting as you to come and gloat over it.

Awww bro…. you love stirring up the Tesla fans.

They are a target rich bunch. It’s kinda fun to poke at them. (The Only Tesla Counts faithful)

Or more accurately the Tesla ONLY fans.

I have to shake my head at the masses who fear autonomous driving. While I’m sure, like any new technology, autonomy will have issue to be worked out, the alternative is what we have right now- drunks behind the wheel, drivers texting while behind the wheel, folks who are too old to be behind the wheel, tired drivers, etc. As a firefighter, I’ve seen so much carnage from human error and failure, it’s sad that the anti-crowd waits eagerly pushes past daily destruction from human error for the random examples of autonomous failures. A few months ago I narrowly missed an aged driver entering onto the highway the wrong way up an off-ramp and take out the car behind me as he U-turned right into traffic. I’m sure it didn’t make the news, as human failure is so common-place its almost accepted.

FYI- millions of folks have flown for YEARS on planes that have autopilot. This is nothing new.

Airplane autopilots are hugely different from cars. Airplanes are directed to never go close to each other while cars are expected to work in a very crowded and constantly changing environment. All the airplane autopilot have to do it to keep the plane in a straight direction and a predetermined altitude.

Plane autopilots do more than that. They can even land and often do. But your point is correct. As an engineering problem, aircraft autopilots are a couple of orders of magnitude simpler to design and implement. The airplane environment is vastly simpler, and well trained pilots operate the autopilot.
On the other hand, plane autopilots are supposed to have a vanishingly low failure rate, while car autopilots will have higher acceptable failure rates initially, since humans set a low bar.

But similar to current capability levels of self-driving cars, you still need a pilot to supervise the proceedings when the “vanishingly low” probability occurs.

In 7000 hours, I’ve had autopilots fail to capture altitude on the climb and the descent, plus coupled ILS approachs start to track side lobes on both the localizer and the glideslope. And let’s not even talk about the stormy night when everything got zapped and we were left with stone knives and bearskins in IMC 40 miles from landing.

Pilots aren’t perfect either and many times we were glad there were two of us to catch mistakes. And, rest assured, ATC controllers aren’t perfect, either.

As the old saying goes, if they ever get rid of the second pilot, it’ll be to have one pilot and a dog. The dog is there to bite the pilot if he tries to touch anything.

I don’t think self-driving will ever reach the level of the modern autopilot, warts and all. To use it to reduce driver workload, ok. To use it instead of a driver . . . .

I think everyone would agree with your view of the benefits provided in a future level 5 autonomous vehicle world with supporting infrastructure.

But we are nowhere near that point yet, and there is a legitimate concern that many level 3/4 systems, combined with marketing hype and misleading names, are creating a false sense of security which can lead to some nasty outcomes.

There is also a psychological problem. Humans can be engaged in driving (manual, level 1/2 assists) or disengaged (level 5), but the idea of being disengaged and then suddenly engaged in an emergency with seconds to develop situational awareness is not something we can do reliably or consistently.

The is no doubt we’re on our way to autonomous vehicles, but we’re not there yet.

That’s what I’m thinking.

Just two days ago I saw a driver blasting through a red light. Thankfully, no one had reached the kill zone yet.

From where I’m setting, autonomous driving looks a lot better then the aggressive, impaired and distracted driving I see everyday.

…and nobody cared.
It’s all about Tesla these days, try as they may GM can’t really press release themselves to the forefront of ev development.

GM has been very quiet concerning their EV development – I don’t think they have been sleeping. Unlike Tesla they don’t have to be headline news daily.

I think you’re confusing the apathetic quietness of the reception of the message with the insistent and loud message they are trying to send.

Press releases are great.
However, they have limited range, and poor protection on rainy or windy day.

GM is making history, not Twitter blurbs.

Simple question: If someone pointed a gun at your head, would you put your kids by themselves into a Tesla 3 FSB to drive through SF tomorrow, or a Waymo, or a Uber, or a Chevrolet Bolt AV?

If your 18 year old wanted to borrow your Model 3 AP2 car who you know is a hardcore cellphone addict, to drive from OC to SF, would you let them?
If they wanted to borrow your GM w/ Super Cruise and Teen Mode, would you let them?

Love the idea of the Model 3. Not a big fan of the autosteering safety mechanisms incorporated into AP2.

FSB

ARRGGHH FSD

For actual normal customers or Taxi services?!?!?

“General Motors today announced it will build production versions of its Cruise AV”

For their own Maven service probably. Not for private consumers.

This is a path Mary Barra laid out to make EVs profitable. When talking about Maven and the Bolt Autonomous Vehicle, she said they can make $40k per AV and transportation as a service, versus the ~$4k they make on private sales.

I wish they would just offer a Bolt SS with a fully independent sport-tuned suspension and 18″ wheels with performance rubber.

So far only Tesla seem to understand that an EV is inherently a sports car. GM still doesn’t get it. They could be selling twice as many Bolts if they offered one that could compete with Tesla on performance and handling.