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General Motors Adds $100 Million to Self-Driving Cars Budget

General Motors presented its $100 milllion for the production of self-driving electric Chevy Bolts Thursday. The company will begin production at two facilities in Michigan. GM named the cars the “Cruise AV,” and will be the automaker’s first production-ready vehicle. Basically, they will build it from scratch and will operate with no pedals, a steering wheel or even manual controls.

The vehicles will be built at GM’s Orion Township assembly plant, while the rooftop sensors will be worked don at the Brownstown plant. GM will invest more than $100 million to improve both facilities. The fourth generation Cruise AV will see production in 2019.

GM president Dan Ammann said in a statement,

We’re continuing to make great progress on our plans to commercialize in 2019.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 news broke on the same day as Ford’s announcement to update its product strategy. They may venture into self-driving cars too, and it makes sense for them to do so. GM did not fool anyone with their announcement, as some reporters noticed the coincidence.

The announcement follows a story in The Information that was released yesterday. The story doubts GM’s plan to release self-driving taxis in big cities by 2019. They are testing cars in San Francisco, but they face confusion in traffic situations that may result in minor accidents. GM said they continue to improve on the autonomous driving software.

Last June, GM hinted at making self-driving cars in Michigan after the first few Chevy Bolts in Orion. GM leads its changes with acquiring startups such as Cruise Automation and LIDAR company Strobe. Due to this, GM stock went up and may lead the car company to hitting the public with the best automated driving vehicles.

[via The Verge]

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