The residents of St Louis have always been tech-savvy, and when they come to ask us questions about cars here on the lot at Jim Butler, it seems lately that the future truly is already here. Many companies have shifted their focus to developing self-driving cars, but most have temporarily lost their way a bit, and over-compensate on sensors and software. This has left a bit to be desired in the actual outcomes of the car themselves. The automation subsidiary at GM has been working hard on its autonomous-driving software for quite some time, and now is giving attention to the actual cars that will put it to use.
The third-generation self-driving prototype has just been slated as ready for mass production, and it just so happens to be the funky and fun-to-drive Chevy Bolt. This updated version has new safety features that deem it able to operate in the real world without a driver, and our sales and service staff are watching this progress closely. The first Bolt autonomous prototypes began to be built and tested on public roads last year, and these were the first-generation attempts. The second-generation prototype was unveiled earlier this year, and they featured a greater sense of integration between the software and stock components of the car.
This car was created under the strong guise that relying on a human driver at any point was not an option, and for that reason, the electrical makeup is very different from a stock Bolt. It is said to closely resemble that of a spacecraft or commercial airplane. The 3rd-generation version can still be built on the same Michigan assembly line as its predecessors, which means that thousands of them could be produced in the very near future. This excites us greatly, because it would thrust Chevy way ahead of their rivals in the industry.
Ford is planning to launch their own self-driving cars, but at this point, production-ready designs are not completed yet. Waymo, Uber, and Lyft are working around the clock to develop autonomous systems, but some of their red tape involves the partnerships needed by automakers to really get things off the ground. The constant debate over what type of regulations will be put in place is definitely making some progress, but we will now see a new level of urgency as a whole.
As new ways of thinking start to trickle into the entire industry, some may be a bit hesitant to embrace models that drive themselves. Things will begin to now change at a pace faster than ever, and we are constantly amazed at the present potential for the driver-less car to emerge someday soon!