General Motors is planning to deploy a fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs with its ride-sharing partner Lyft next year, according to a new report.
Reuters cites “two sources familiar with the automaker’s plans”, saying the American automotive giant is looking to send thousands of autonomous-capable Bolts into testing from next year, which would mark the largest test of fully-driverless vehicles by any major manufacturer. By comparison, Google’s Waymo is testing around 60 vehicles in four different US states.
The report claims the majority of these self-driving prototypes will be used by Lyft, an Uber-rivalling ride-sharing firm that GM invested US$500 million ($651.8 million) for a minority stake in last year.
However, GM apparently has no immediate plans to sell the autonomous Bolt to private customers.
This latest development comes after arch-rival Ford announced its plans last year to deploy a fully-autonomous on-demand ride-sharing fleet by 2021, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is partnering with Google and Waymo by supplying its Pacifica MPVs for driverless vehicle testing.
It’s likely Cruise Automation – a self-driving startup company GM purchased last year – will also be making contributions to the project, especially considering just last week it released a video of its own autonomous Chevrolet Bolt (pictured) navigating the streets of San Francisco without human intervention.
“Cruise, Lyft, Maven are all bringing different parts of this singular solution around autonomous on-demand networks in urban environments,” Mike Ableson, GM executive, told Reuters last year before the company closed the deal with Lyft.