Cruise Automation, the self-driving car startup recently acquired by GM, just updated its home page with a photo of an electric Chevy Bolt prototype fitted with a sensor array on the roof. Behind the wheel appears to be Cruise co-founder Kyle Vogt. "We are testing our autonomous technology on the all new Chevrolet Bolt EV in San Francisco," the page reads, with a link to open job positions. This is the first time GM and Cruise have officially revealed a self-driving version of Chevy's low-cost electric car, which will be in dealerships later this year.
It's no secret that GM is using its $500 million investment in Lyft combined with its acquisition of Cruise to put electric, self-driving ride-share vehicles on roadways — a goal it hopes to meet within a year. And the rivalry between Lyft's self-driving ambitions and those of Uber is promising to be one of the great storylines in transportation over the next several years: just yesterday, spy shots of Bolts fitted with self-driving sensors were first published by The Verge; less than 24 hours later, Uber responded with photos of its own self-driving Ford Fusions near its R&D facilities in Pittsburgh. If the race to eliminate the driver from the equation wasn't on before, it certainly is now.