Chevrolet is testing a new automation system on their Bolt models. The test cars can be seen on the streets of San Francisco, highly decorated with sensors and cameras.
The prototypes are under revision by Cruise Automation, a company purchased by General Motors and valued at $1 billion worth. The autonomous technology created by them is now tested with the Chevrolet Bolt EV models.
General Motors have also invested almost a half billion dollars in a service for ride-hailing named Lyft. The company intends to combine it with Cruise technologies and eventually become the main competitor for Uber and offer autonomous taxi services.
In January this year, GM chose a dedicated team to deal with its autonomous vehicle program. Cruise Automation, which started with only 40 employees, is now hiring, and almost 20 extra vacant places have been publicly listed.
Chevrolet wants to bring the Chevy Bolt into production later this year, maybe even as soon as October. This model will be the first completely electric car produced by General Motors and will have a very competitive price.
Earlier in May, another test car, this time, a Ford Fusion Hybrid, was seen in Pittsburgh. The car was labeled with Uber’s logo.
This high interest in designing autonomous cars is the consequence of the creation by Tesla of its Autopilot assembly of semi-autonomous functions. All cars in Tesla’s program are connected to the internet, so information is continuously sent from one vehicle to another.
It has been calculated that Teslas with Autopilot drive worldwide more than a million miles a day.
One of the first companies that invested in autonomous driving is Google. Recently they started an alliance with Chrysler to set 100 Pacifica vans with the automation system. The Chrysler project would be the first commercial application of Google technology in self-driving systems.
As for Tesla, the new Model 3 car will start production in 2018. Elon Musk is optimistic about the market success of the self-driving mobile devices and expects it to be a standard feature in the next few years.
However, studies have shown that the general opinion of the public is not as free of prejudice. People have a hard time understanding the benefits of such a self-driving system and are in general more traditional. Younger people seemed more open and more interested in advanced technology.
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