Due to its small footprint, the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV is the vehicle chosen for a pilot ride-share program conducted by General Motors and Google. Currently taking place only in Mountain View, CA, home of Google, the pilot program is a test bed of ideas shared by the two companies.
“This learning pilot combines commuting data, analytics, telematics, navigation, and smartphones to run a smart, real-time system that mixes and matches drivers, riders and cars during morning and evening commutes. Convenience through door-to-door service and flexible scheduling are key goals,” says General Motors in a report.
In addition to Google’s campus, General Motors is also using the Technical Center in suburban Detroit as another test bed. “Through a partnership with Streetline, a parking technology company, we’ve installed sensors in our most used parking decks to measure demand and turnover patterns,” says GM. They have created an app to help employees find parking spaces, the number which is smaller than the need. The goal is to “help ease traffic backups and to combat wasted fuel as drivers looking for parking or wait in traffic,” according to Edmunds.com.
“Facing an automotive industry that is unsustainable in its current form, General Motors is restructuring its global vehicle portfolio, rethinking manufacturing and collaborating with unlikely partners to advance the industry,” adds GM.
General Motors has a goal of 500,000 EVs—pure electrics, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids—on American roads by 2017. The Volt, Spark EV, and 2014 Cadillac ELR are models on GM’s roster that fit this goal.