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GM to start AV manufacturing and testing in Michigan

GM already announced an autonomous vehicle engineering team and a $500 million investment in Lyft


January 25, 2017
Purchasing B2B

General Motors has begun testing fully autonomous development fleet vehicles on public roads in Michigan, starting with roads nearby its Technical Center in Warren. Image courtesy of General Motors

DETROIT—General Motors has said that it will begin testing autonomous vehicles on public roads and will produce the next generation of its autonomous test vehicles at its Orion Township assembly plant beginning in early 2017.

Testing is underway on GM’s Technical Center campus in Warren, Michigan, the company said. With the passage of the SAVE Act legislation in the US, GM said it will expand testing to public roads on the facility’s outskirts. Within the next few months, testing will expand to metro Detroit, which will become GM’s main location for development of autonomous technology in winter.

Workers at the Orion Township assembly plant will build test fleet Bolt EVs equipped with fully autonomous technology. The plant manufactures the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Sonic. The new equipment will include LIDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware designed to ensure system safety.

The test fleet vehicles will be used by GM engineers for continued testing and validation of GM’s autonomous technology already underway on public roads in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as part of the Michigan testing fleet.

GM has already announced the formation of an autonomous vehicle engineering team and a $500 million investment in Lyft to develop an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the US. In March, the company announced the acquisition of Cruise Automation to provide deep software talent and rapid development expertise to help speed development.

In June, GM began testing autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs on public roads in San Francisco and Scottsdale. The company has more than 40 autonomous vehicles testing in the two cities.