Back in June, General Motors (GM) solidified itself as a major player in the autonomous vehicle world by moving toward the world's first mass-producible line of self-driving vehicles. Today, this traditional automotive powerhouse and current driverless pioneer continues to forge a powerful position in this sector by more than doubling its self-driving fleet within the Golden State.
As David Shepardson of Automotive News explains, this major push forward is part of an expansion of the Cruise Automation program (which GM spent $1 billion to acquire in 2016) that has taken part over the past three months. During this timeframe, the number of "robotic" GM vehicles to hit the streets and highways of California surged from an estimated 30 to 40 to 100 total units.
As impressive as this growth is, it hasn't been without some hiccups. Shepardson goes on to point out that GM's fleet vehicles were involved in a total of six minor incidents. However, Rebecca Mark, a spokeswoman for GM, does contest that the each of these accidents were caused not by the Cruise Automation vehicle in question, but rather by human error originating from others involved in these occurrences.
Of course, as more and more self-driving vehicles find themselves dead center in the middle of modern traffic problems, including drivers who fail to obey traffic laws as strictly as the artificial intelligence (A.I.) systems that power driverless automobiles, it's only natural for the raw number of these incidents to rise over time.
What are the next steps for GM and its Cruise Automation program in California? How will this company's self-driving offerings continue to adapt and mesh with human-driven traffic as their numbers continue to propogate and grow? To answer these questions, and many others, feel free to dig into the complete story from Shepardson over on Automotive News.