GM Unveils The World’s First Mass-Producible Self-Driving Car

GM Unveils The World’s First Mass-Producible Self-Driving Car

Cruise’s driverless vehicle can be rapidly deployed at a large scale

Driverless car startup Cruise Automation, which was acquired by General Motors in 2016, has been focused on rapidly deploying self-driving cars at a large scale. The company believes that when these vehicles are available in large numbers, they will save lives and accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Cruise recently unveiled the world’s first mass-producible car designed to operate without a driver. It has been assembled in a high-volume assembly plant capable of producing 100,000’s of vehicles each year.

Kyle Vogt, CEO and founder of Cruise Automation, said in a blog post:

“The plant used to build our self-driving cars is massive, requiring the cooperation of over 1,000 people and spanning the area of 75 football fields. There are hundreds of robots, vehicles on tracks that weave, rotate, and climb through the facility, and processes that have been honed to near perfection over decades. Parts from thousands of suppliers feed into every station in the right order, at the right time. It’s a logistical symphony, and truly a sight to behold.”

Created using the collective effort of over 2,000 people, the driverless vehicle has been designed to emulate human driving behavior, without the human mistakes and distractions. It was put through the same rigorous testing processes as most production vehicles and designed to be built on one of GM’s high volume assembly lines so that Cruise could learn how to build at scale.

The car has new and fault-tolerant electrical, communication, and actuation systems that are unique to a driverless vehicle. There are backup systems, with backups for the backups, and backups for those systems too. Safety and validation teams have carefully considered plausible failure modes for all critical systems and fed changes back into the design.

This car is actually their 3rd generation self-driving car, but it’s the first that meets the redundancy and safety requirements necessary to operate without a driver. In a few weeks, these cars will be a part of a fleet that carries Cruise employees around San Francisco using Cruise’s app (for the time being, there will still be a human behind the wheel).

Cruise Automation


via PSFK