General Motors To Expand Its Autonomous Vehicle Manufacturing And Testing

Published On Dec 19, 2016 12:33 PM By Rachit Shad

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The next generation of autonomous vehicles will roll out of the Orion Township (Michigan) assembly plant in early 2017

General Motors (GM) is one of the world’s largest automotive groups. Its list of subsidiaries includes ten automotive marques, out of which Chevrolet, Cadillac and Opel are the most renowned. Recently, GM signed the SAVE Act legislation to support autonomous vehicle testing and deployment in Michigan. The American automotive group announced that it will immediately begin the expansion of testing self-driving vehicles on public roads. GM further added that, starting early 2017, it will manufacture the next generation of autonomous test vehicles at its assembly plant located in Orion Township, Michigan.

Regarding this development, Mary Barra, chairman and CEO, General Motors, said, “Revolutionizing transportation for our customers while improving safety on roads is the goal of our autonomous vehicle technology, and this announcement gets us one step closer to making this vision a reality. Our autonomous technology will be reliable and safe, as customers have come to expect from any of our vehicles.”

Employees at GM’s Orion Township assembly plant will manufacture test fleet Bolt EVs (electric vehicle) featuring fully autonomous tech. The plant currently builds two Chevrolet products – Bolt EV and Sonic. And since the Bolt already has EV DNA, it becomes the ideal candidate for the company to equip with autonomous gadgetry such as LIDAR cameras and multiple sensors all around the car.

The testing of autonomous vehicles is already underway in GM’s Technical Center campus in Warren, Michigan. The company claims that in a few months it will start testing self-driving vehicles in Detroit, which will become its base for engineering autonomous tech in cold weather conditions. Public road testing is also being conducted in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona. The testing began in June 2016 and the company has more than 40 autonomous vehicles in the two cities.

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