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GM Gains Bragging Rights for Mass Producing 130 Self-Driving Chevrolet Bolts

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It appears that GM has started to make tangible strides on its 1-year goal: deploying thousands of self-driving Bolts in 2018. The manufacturer just announced that it has finished production on 130 self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV test cars.  CEO and Chairman, Mary Barra, bragged about GM’s achievement: “No other company today has the unique and necessary combination of technology, engineering and manufacturing ability to build autonomous vehicles at scale.” Although it is still testing the self-driving Bolts, this mass production stunt definitely puts GM at the head of the industry-wide race to release autonomous cars.

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Exactly how are other OEMs doing in the self-driving car race? Like with the release of any new thing, the current headlines are a mix of positive advances and unforeseen delays. Earlier this year, Ford announced a 5-year plan that would put $1 billion toward its autonomous car effort. However, they just switched CEOs. Only time will tell if the infrastructure repercussions will help or hinder its goal of having self-driving cars on the road by 2021. Honda aims to have self-driving models on the market by 2025. Even Honda spokesman Sage Marie made no effort to hide Honda’s late-joining status when he quipped: “Honda isn’t always the first to join the party, but we’re usually the best dressed!”

Kia hopes to have self-driving models on the road by 2030. Last year they released its new sub-brand, Drive Wise, and advanced driver assistance technology. However, there’s a current lack of news about Kia’s progress on its self-driving model. Audi’s goal is to have self-driving cars on the road by 2020, however it just received permission to start testing its autonomous cars in New York.

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With such a roller coaster of highs and lows as different OEMs race to be at the front of the autonomous car initiative, GM’s newly-produced 130 self-driving Bolts is definitely something to celebrate. Per Barra, testing on the new Bolts will begin very soon. Hang on to your seats for more info about this self-driving model.

Sources: Detroit Free Press, CNN, USA Today, The Verge, Auto Trader