Autonomous car testing is in full swing everywhere – from automakers to tech companies and startups. General Motors is looking to gain the forefront, thanks to its subsidiary Cruise Automation.
The company has decided to again demonstrate how well prepared the self-driving Chevy Bolt has become, with the latest demonstration showing us the trial vehicle autonomously handling the streets of San Francisco… at night. The time lapse encompasses an hour and a half of nighttime motoring, transformed into an eight-minute-long clip. The autonomous system had five pre-scheduled stops along its route and the human driver watching everything never needed to use his override prerogative. And the issues at hand were large – chaotic traffic, pedestrians, parallel parking vehicles, bicyclists, and even a raccoon at one point.
General Motors acquired Cruise Automation – a startup – for no less than one billion dollars (alleged) back last year, and has turned it into the front shop for autonomous technology. Gm recently invested another $14 million into Cruise, mostly in the research and development area. The autonomous unit will also hire 1,100 employees in the span of five years, and we can bet this has to do with GM’s plans with Lyft to set up a huge fleet of autonomous electric Chevy Bolts doing ride-hailing business.