General Motors has been working for more than a year on making test vehicles for having its self-driving technology. The leading automaker has announced that it plans to make production versions of its Cruise AV at its Orion Township assembly plant in Michigan. The roof modules for these self-driving vehicles will be assembled at the company’s manufacturing facility in Brownstown. The special equipment needed for the smooth operation of the autonomous vehicles like LIDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware will be integrated into the roof modules and they will be assembled on a dedicated line at the facility.
Thus, the Cruise AV, which GM is planning to launch commercially in 2019, will be the company’s first production vehicle which has been made from scratch as a fully autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel, pedals or manual controls. It can be operated safely on its own without the intervention of a human driver.
Commenting on the plans, GM President Dan Ammann said that the company is steadily making progress with its plans to commercialize the Cruise AV in 2019, with its teams in both Orion and Brownstown demonstrating significant expertise in building high-quality self-driving test vehicles and battery packs.
GM will be spending over USD 100 million on upgrading both the Orion and Brownstone facilities to prepare them for the mass production of AV vehicles. The Brownstone plant has already begun production of the roof modules and the production of the fourth generation Cruise AV is slated to begin in 2019.
From January 2017, employees at the Orion plant have assembled three generations of Cruise self-driving test vehicles which have been tested in highly challenging urban environments, including downtown San Francisco. Over 200 of the test vehicles were assembled at Orion.
The Orion factory will continue to build the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Sonic as well as the Cruise AV.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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