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GM to begin testing autonomous vehicles in Michigan immediately

Its local Orion facility will also build Bolt EVs loaded with autonomous hardware.

General Motors

General Motors will start testing autonomous vehicles on Michigan's roads, after the State of Michigan signed into law a series of bills that permit the testing of driverless vehicles within the state.

The company also said the next generation of autonomous testing vehicles will be built at the Orion Township assembly plant, where the Bolt EV is made, beginning early next year.

Jumping at the opportunity to put self-driving cars on the road, GM will expand the testing at its Technical Center campus in Warren, Michigan to public roads around those facilities. Within a matter of months, that testing will make its way southward to the metro Detroit area, which will become the main spot for GM's autonomous winter testing.

The autonomous vehicles built at Orion will be based on the Bolt EV. They'll come equipped with LiDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware required for full autonomy. Since they're based on the Bolt EV, they will likely come equipped with pedals and a steering wheel for driver intervention.

The Bolt EV autonomous research vehicles will be sent to San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona, as well. General Motors has been testing self-driving cars in those two markets since June, and it currently operates about 40 vehicles split between the two cities.

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