General Motors has announced it will build production versions of its Cruise AV at its Orion Township assembly plant in Michigan.
The company says that, after more than a year of building test vehicles for development of its self-driving technology, The Cruise AV, which the company plans to commercialise in 2019, is the first production-ready vehicle built from the ground up to operate safely on its own with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls.
“We’re continuing to make great progress on our plans to commercialise in 2019,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “Our Orion and Brownstown teams [where roof modules will be assembled] have proven experience in building high-quality self-driving test vehicles and battery packs, so they are well-prepared to produce the Cruise AV.”
GM says it will invest more than $100 million to upgrade both facilities. Roof module production has already begun and production of the fourth generation Cruise AV is expected to begin in 2019.
The company adds that since January 2017, UAW (auto union) Local 5960 workers at the Orion plant have assembled three generations of Cruise self-driving test vehicles “for use in the most challenging urban environments, including downtown San Francisco”. More than 200 of the test vehicles have been assembled at Orion.
“The UAW is committed to preparing our members for the future of advanced mobility and this investment recognises our willingness to work together to build these self-driving vehicles,” said Cindy Estrada, vice president and director of the Union’s General Motors Department. “Whether it involves traditional vehicles or advance technology, our members are highly capable of delivering great products.”