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General Motors Starts An Autonomous Car Development Team, Builds It A Test Track

General Motors keeps expanding its autonomous vehicle development team in Detroit, and they will begin testing shortly.
2016 Chevrolet Volt 1 photo
Located in Warren, GM’s latest technology center focuses on self-driving cars. General Motors has several hundred employees working on the project which has been relocated to Warren Tech Center. The American automaker wants to hire several hundred more by the end of the year.

The expanded team of General Motors’ Warren Tech Center will also have a test track at its disposal, which was constructed specially for this endeavor and completed this fall.

General Motors assembled the workforce from various locations and segments of the company, and they housed them in the engineering building of the Tech Center.

The teams at GM will test the fleet of Chevrolet Volt autonomous vehicles both in open traffic and closed track conditions. As previously announced, GM will let employees hail autonomous cars through a dedicated app, which will allow them to experience the self-driving cars as passengers through the campus.

Thanks to the mix of roads and driving conditions, GM expects to advance its self-driving car technology quickly. The company will also get the chance to experiment with ride-sharing services using the dedicated app described above.

Ken Kelzer, vice president of global vehicle components and subsystems, as well as the executive overseeing the $1 Billion Warren Tech Center’s transformation, explained that the teams will work with a small fleet at first. In an interview with Detroit News, Kelzer said that the automaker cannot go from zero self-driving functions to fully autonomous, and has detailed the strategy behind the fleet.

As the GM executive explained, the company will keep improving the prototypes with technology on hand at General Motors, so they will have access to the latest elements used by the corporation and evolve the self-driving system on par with the tech available for passenger cars.

General Motors is not at its first endeavor in self-driving cars, and its rivals from Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are also deeply involved in the field. Each of the Big Three automakers has a center for developing this kind of vehicle, and partnerships were signed to accelerate the rollout of the system.


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