A spy photographer has come across a fleet of all-electric Chevy Bolts in San Francisco today that appear to be equipped with arrays of self-driving sensors, a sign that GM is already testing the electric cars that could be ferrying Lyft passengers around without drivers sometime in the next year.
These aren't just any self-driving Bolts, though: behind the wheel of one of the cars is Kyle Vogt, co-founder of Cruise Automation, which GM recently acquired for a reported $1 billion. You might think that Vogt would be taking it easy after a transaction of that magnitude, but he's apparently still active and engaged with the company — at least in real-world testing.
GM has made no secret of the fact that it sees autonomous driving as a big part of its future, especially in ride-sharing fleets like Lyft's, where the company recently made a $500 million investment. In particular, company executives have singled out the Bolt as a vehicle that's well suited to ride- and car-sharing use, but the vehicle that it has shown so far — the one we drove at CES earlier this year — isn't equipped with self-driving sensors. It looks like Cruise Automation's team is ready to change that.
GM declined to comment for this story.