Rolling Toward Mass Production: GM Builds 130 Self-Driving Chevys in Local Plant

Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicles.
Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors)

The race to get autonomous cars on the road is in high gear. No company wants to be left behind, which may be one reason why Ford Motor Co. recently fired CEO Mark Fields.

With that in mind, General Motors announced Tuesday that it completed production of 130 Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles with self-driving technology at its Orion Assembly Plant.

The vehicles will join more than 50 self-driving Bolts in test fleets in San Francisco, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Metro Detroit, a release says.

The Orion Township work makes GM the first manufacturer to assemble self-driving test vehicles in a mass-production facility, it boasts.

“This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality,” CEO Mary Barra is quoted as saying. 

The self-driving Chevys have LIDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware. 

“To achieve what we want from self-driving cars, we must deploy them at scale," said CEO Kyle Vogt of Cruise Automation, a division of GM. "By developing the next-generation self-driving platform in San Francisco and manufacturing these cars in Michigan, we are creating the safest and most consistent conditions to bring our cars to the most challenging urban roads that we can find.”

Local pride in the assembly line output is tweeted by Matthew Gibb, a deputy Oakland County executive who was at the plant Tuesday:  

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