— General Motors and its massive resource capabilities are entering the self-driving arena by using mass production technology to build 180 electric Chevrolet Bolt autonomous test vehicles, with 50 of those self-driving cars already deployed in Detroit, Scottsdale, Arizona and San Francisco.
GM says the driverless test cars are being built at its assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, with GM claiming it's the first company to mass-produce self-driving test cars.
The automaker claims no other company has the combination of engineering, technology and manufacturing ability to build and deploy self-driving cars and points to how the Bolts even include cameras for the sole purpose of watching traffic light signals.
The Bolts include sensors, cameras, LIDAR (lasers) and other technology to develop cars that can handle autonomous duties on any roads, including challenging urban environments.
The automaker is taking the autonomous Bolt process in steps, with the first generation of self-driving cars first tested in 2016, and production of second generation electric Bolts that started in January 2017. Engineers are using each step in the process to learn what changes should be made to move onto a new generation of self-driving cars.
GM says it is building the cars with Cruise Automation, a company the automaker purchased in 2016 for more than $580 million, a clear signal to other companies that GM is serious about self-driving technology.
General Motors also wants to use the autonomous self-driving Chevy Bolts as part of the company's plans for a $500 million investment in ride-sharing company Lyft.
According to the GM, it also plans on adding more than 1,000 new jobs dedicated to building self-driving cars and will invest about $600 million per year into the venture.