General Motors will begin testing autonomous vehicles in public roads in Michigan and will build its test vehicles at the Orion Township assembly plant in early 2017, CEO Mary Barra announced Thursday.
GM has been testing a fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs at its Technical Center campus in Warren. The automaker plans to expand testing onto public roads on the outskirts of the facility.
GM, and other automakers, can now begin testing on public roads in the state with the passage of the SAVE Act, which refers to four state Senate bills signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on Dec. 9 that allow authorized cars to operate on public roads without a driver or steering wheel.
"Revolutionizing transportation for our customers while improving safety on roads is the goal of our autonomous vehicle technology, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to making this vision a reality," said Mary Barra, GM's president and CEO. "Our autonomous technology will be reliable and safe, as customers have come to expect from any of our vehicles."
In June, GM began testing autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs on public roads in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Ariz. The company has more than 40 vehicles in the two cities.