It didn’t take long for GM and Cruise Automation to put the results of their alliance on the road. Following GM’s March 2016 purchase of the San Francisco-based startup, Cruise is now testing GM Chevrolet Bolt EVs equipped with its self-driving technology on the city’s streets.
Cruise is also listing job openings for a fleet of engineers, again all to work in San Francisco. The rush to combine driverless vehicle technology with electric cars and to use them with ride-sharing firms is on. In GM’s case, its $500 million investment in ride-sharing company Lyft looks likely to push forward the alliance with Cruise. No timeline has been announced for when we can expect to see driverless Bolt EVs responding to our ride hail call with a big pink mustache on the front bumper, but it might be sooner than we thought.
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV won the Digital Trends Best of Show Award at CES 2016 in January. The Bolt EV is expected to have a 200-mile range and to cost approximately $30,000 after incentives.
The all-electric version of the Bolt is targeted as an entry-level family car. “The Bolt EV is really going to be for that customer that wants to go full-fledged, both feet in. Their driving patterns and lifestyle allow for a 200-mile EV range to fit in, or they may have a second or third vehicle for extra trips, ” Chevrolet’s Darin Gesse, the Product Marketing Manager for the Bolt EV and Volt plug-in hybrid told Digital Trends in March 2016.
The Bolt EV is expected in dealer showrooms this fall. Don’t expect a driverless version that soon, but if you’re walking on the streets of San Francisco you might just see one drive by. And sometime in the next few years, as soon as driverless technologies and local, state, and federal regulations allow, it appears that when you call Lyft, you might get picked up by a pink-mustached, driverless Bolt EV.