In a news conference held in Michigan, the CEO and Chairman of General Motors Marry Barra announced that Chevrolet is going to start testing of autonomous vehicles in Michigan in the beginning of the year 2018. General Motors Co would begin testing of the autonomous electric cars in partnership with San Francisco-based Lyft Inc. This information was given by two sources associated with the automaker’s plans.

The largest test of autonomous vehicles

This fleet of testing thousands of electric cars would be the biggest by any big automaker before the year 2020.

The Waymo subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. is presently testing around 60 such self-driving prototypes, and many companies have a plan to begin building and deploying the self-driving vehicles in 4 states.

The rival of GM, Ford Motors Co said that it has plans to build the self-driving vehicles in late 2020 at a suburban Detroit plant. Other than this, a small number of Chrysler Pacifica minivans is being provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to Waymo for their conversion into self-driving vehicles.

No selling to individuals, to be deployed only in fleets

According to one of the sources, Chevrolet Bolt electric cars with the most equipped versions would be used by Lyft to test the fleets in different states.

A source also reported, on condition of anonymity, that General Motors Co would not be selling the autonomous self-driving Bold AV vehicles to individuals.

General Motors also announced that Maven, the car sharing in-house service, would be launching 100 Bolts on rent in the Los Angeles city. These Maven electric vehicles are not autonomous, but Lyft would be using them for work for a fee.

In the past year, executives of General Motors had said that the company had the intent to produce autonomous vehicles in large scale and would deploy them in ride services fleets. However, there is no revelation on the production scale or timing proposed to deploy the vehicles. The company had said that they would not provide specific details on future products but said that its AV technology would appear sooner in on-demand ride sharing fleets.

Cost of autonomous self-driving cars

The Executive of General Motors, Mike Abelson said that the expected cost of these self-driving vehicles would be in six figures, especially for the early ones. The thing is that not many retail customers are willing to spend that much amount of money though a business can be built with that cost on ridesharing platform.

The Chief Executive of General Motors, Mary Barra said that the company would start building its fully autonomous self-driving cars of Bolt AV in early 2017 at the Orion Township. The company is also testing around 40 Bolt AVs in the states of San Francisco, Arizona, and Scottsdale while it has plans to extend the testing to Detroit this year.

The General Motors has also applied for a permit to operate the autonomous Bolts on the California roads while the company, partnering with Cruise Automation, has already posted videos of these self-driving cars on the San Francisco streets. In testing the Cruise fleet, the General Motors uses a smartphone application allowing the user to choose the start and end point of the trip.