Reuters has learnt that the autonomous Bolts will be rolled out in partnership with ride-sharing service Lyft and will be the largest test fleet of autonomous vehicles before the year 2020. An official statement released reiterated that the company does not comment on future products, but it did state that its Bolt EVs will indeed be heading to Lyft as previously announced.
GM has been fleshing out its plans for autonomous driving over the past year and it is becoming clear that they are serious about the technology since their $1 billion acquisition of Cruise Automation.
The report is pretty vague, but it follows requests from GM to use important numbers of radar sensors for testing on public roads, which would indicate the deployment of an important fleet of self-driving cars.
In 2016, Google's Waymo division and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have partnered up and converted several Chrysler Pacifica into self-driving minivans. The test program picked up Uber passengers after informing them that the auto coming to get them would be a self-driving vehicle supervised by an Uber engineer.
The automaker's plans for autonomous vehicles were relayed to Reuters by two sources said to be familiar with the matter.More news: Sir Mo Farah, Laura Muir star at Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham
"If you assume the cost of these autonomous vehicles, the very early ones, will be six figures, there aren't very many retail customers that are willing to go out and spend that kind of money", Ableson said. "But even at that sort of cost, with a ride-sharing platform, you can build a business", GM's vice-president for strategy, Mike Ableson, had told Reuters about the venture in a November interview.
In December, the company revealed that fully automated Bolts will starting being built in early 2017 at GM's Orion Township plant in the Detroit area.
At this time, there are now about 40 Bolt EVs testing in San Francisco and Scottsdale. Motoring experts have been predicted partnerships like this one since a year ago.
"Cruise, Lyft, Maven are all bringing different parts of this singular solution around autonomous on-demand networks in urban environments", he said.