The popular Chevy Bolt is going to receive a heavy investment for further development of autonomous driving capabilities. The Cruise AV, as the autonomous Bolt will be called, is expected to go into serial production soon, in time for a driverless ride-share programme launching in 2019.
Two factories will be undergoing major overhauls to prepare for the incoming changes in the production line. The first 130 of the autonomous Bolt vehicles were completed last June at their Orion assembly plant, which is one of the plants to receive the upgrade; the other being located at Brownstown.
The Orion facility will be used to install the redundant safety features for the self-driving cars, while the roof modules, which provide the vehicle with “sight”. The vehicle is designed without a steering wheel or pedals, which makes this a somewhat bold step for the automotive manufacturer, however the leap has been at work for some time now.
The wheel- and pedal-less setup was originally proposed by Google in 2014, however the features were added back in due to safety concerns.
GM president Dan Ammann had this to say on the subject: “We’re continuing to make great progress on our plans to commercialize in 2019. Our Orion and Brownstown teams have proven experience in building high-quality self-driving test vehicles and battery packs, so they are well-prepared to produce the Cruise AV.”