U.S. cars get auto steer­ing

GM and Fiat Chrysler join Ford and Google for a safer fu­ture

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

GEN­ERAL Mo­tors (GM) an­nounced it will part­ner with Lyft to test a fleet of self-driv­ing-Chevro­let Bolt elec­tric taxis on pub­lic roads.

The Chevro­let Bolt, which will have a 200-mile (321 km) range, is ex­pected to go on sale later this year for $30 000 (R455 000) af­ter fed­eral and state re­bates. Lyft is a com­peti­tor for Uber and in Jan­uary GM in­vested $500 mil­lion in the com­pany to es­tab­lish a net­work of on-de­mand au­tonomous ve­hi­cles in the U.S. The self-driv­ing Bolts are ex­pected to join Lyft later this year in a yet-tobe dis­closed city.

Cus­tomers will have the op­por­tu­nity to opt in or out of the pi­lot when hail­ing a Lyft car from the com­pany’s mo­bile app.

GM’s Lyft news comes af­ter Google an­nounced its engi­neers will work with those of Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles to more than dou­ble Google’s ex­ist­ing self-driv­ing test fleet with Chrysler Paci­fica Hy­brid mini­vans. It will be Google’s first col­lab­o­ra­tion with an au­tomaker to in­te­grate its self-driv­ing sys­tem, in­clud­ing its sen­sors and soft­ware, into a pas­sen­ger car, but the van is made for fam­ily life on the road, be­ing sold with a built-in vac­uum cleaner.

Ear­lier this year, Google, Ford and Uber also formed a coali­tion to push for fed­eral sup­port for self-driv­ing cars. All the com­pa­nies in­volved say self-driv­ing cars can pre­vent some of the 33 000 an­nual deaths on U.S. roads, 94% of which are caused by hu­man er­ror. — WR.

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