At General Motors, it’s full speed ahead in the race towards commercializing the self-driving car. The automaker plans to make self-driving cars available in 2019, and it announced a $100 million investment for the Brownstown and Orion, Michigan, plants for self-driving car production.
Production is slated for 2019 and the car heading to assembly lines is the fourth-generation autonomous car, the Cruise AV. The car features no pedals, steering wheel or other driver controls. GM has previously petitioned the Department of Transportation to allow the car to test without the driver controls.
GM played up the fact that the Cruise AV will be the first production-ready vehicle built from the ground up to operate on its own. GM’s strategy has long been to integrate as much of the technology as possible in the production vehicle without retrofitting as some of its rivals do. The Cruise AV is based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car.
“We’re continuing to make great progress on our plans to commercialize in 2019,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “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.”
The Brownstown plant will build the self-driving car’s roof modules, while Orion will handle Cruise AV production itself. The automaker also announced plans earlier this month to increase Bolt EV production at the facility.