Last week, Cruise Automation, GM’s startup working on self-driving technology, released a video of its Bolt EV prototype driving autonomously in San Francisco. Even though the company claimed it was driving autonomously, it was quite boring since it was from a dashcam and looked exactly like a video of someone driving around for a few minutes.
The company learned from its mistake and with a simple in-video feed from inside the vehicle, they released a much more impressive video this week showcasing their latest self-driving progress.
It might sound trivial, but the simple addition of a clear view of the driver not touching the wheel makes the same feat more interesting.
It was again filmed in San Francisco in a Bolt EV equipped with a sensor suite developed by Cruise. The startup has been operating fleets of Chevy Bolt EVs in the Bay Area, Arizona, and Michigan since last year.
In total, GM has more than 40 autonomous vehicles in its test program.
In December, they released a few shots of one of their most recent test vehicles:
GM claims that it will be the first to market with a fully autonomous system, but so far they have only guided “2020” for a commercial version aside from pilot programs in its own campus later this year. Other companies developing self-driving technologies, like Tesla and Waymo, have more aggressive timelines.
But time to market aside, what they have now is already quite impressive.
As you can see in the video below, their current system is able to handle an urban environment, including pedestrians and even construction work, quite well. If you look closely, you can spot a few instances where the system hesitated, but the driver seems to never have to touch the wheel.