General Motors prepares to deploy thousands of self-driving electric vehicles in test fleets in partnership with ride-sharing affiliate Lyft Inc, beginning in 2018, 2 sources knowledgeable about the automaker’s strategies stated this week.
It is expected to be the biggest such test of completely autonomous vehicles by any major automaker prior to 2020, when numerous companies have stated they plan to begin developing and deploying such vehicles in greater volumes. Alphabet Inc’s Waymo subsidiary, in contrast, is presently checking about 60 self-driving prototypes in 4 states.
Most of the specifically geared up versions of the Chevrolet Bolt electrical vehicle will be used by San Francisco-based Lyft, which will test them in its ride-sharing fleet in a number of states, one of the sources informed. General Motors has no instant plans to offer the Bolt AV to specific customers, according to the source.
GM executives have told in interviews and investor presentations during the last year they mean to mass-produce autonomous vehicles and release them in ride services fleets. Although, GM authorities have not revealed details of the scale of production, or the timing of the implementation of those vehicles.
In a statement on Friday, General Motors stated: “We do not provide specific information on potential future products or technology rollout plans. We have said that our AV technology will appear in an on-demand ride sharing network application sooner than you might think.”
Lyft refused to comment.