GM’s Cruise Automation releases self-driving Bolt video

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co.’s Cruise Automation company has posted a video of a fully autonomous ride in San Francisco in a Chevrolet Bolt EV that included GM President Dan Ammann in the backseat.

The sped-up video made in November and posted on YouTube on Thursday, gives viewers a view of the road from inside the car. It shows the Bolt EV dealing with many different city traffic scenarios, including driving around a parked van in the roadway, cars changing lanes, plus dealing with buses, cars being parked, bicyclists and pedestrians crossing the street.

The Detroit automaker last year acquired Cruise Automation, a self-driving technology startup, last year and has grown its San Francisco-based staff from about 40 to more than 100. Cruise and GM are testing self-driving Bolt EVs in San Francisco, Scottsdale, Arizona, and southeast Michigan.

Last week, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said some self-driving Bolt EVs in San Francisco are picking up employees of Cruise Automation and giving them an autonomous ride to work.

Ammann last week showed the video to analysts at the 2017 Deutsche Bank global automotive conference in Detroit. He said then that the ride was fully autonomous and never required a driver to take over. He said the Bolt EV encountered “crazy driving behavior.” The car even steered around a pigeon in the road. Ammann said the technology is “quickly moving along.”

The automaker also has an alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft Inc. and is working on deploying self-driving vehicles in a ride-sharing setting.

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