EVLN: U's get Bolts> (Stop giving away Bolt EVs& deliver them to buyers)
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% GM seems to have many pet projects. The item below talks about 8 university teams that will likely get two Bolt EVs each for their projects. That is 16 less Bolts being delivered into the hands eager buyers who have paid to pre-order and have been waiting for their EV. Other news items have mentioned how Bolt production is down. I'm pointing out: GM redirects some of the few Bolts that are produced for their own purposes. Someone somewhere in GM ought to see they need to increase their Bolt production to get Bolt EVs into the hands of the consumer (reduce buyer wait time& dealership markup) %
Just about every major car company is trying to figure out the best way to build a self-driving car, and GM is tapping a handful of schools to help get the job done. Teams from Virginia Tech, the University of Waterloo, Kettering University, the University of Michigan, Michigan Tech, the University of Toronto, Texas A&M and North Carolina A&T have been selected to apply their know-how to a very specific challenge. Long story short, they each have three years to load up a bog-standard Chevy Bolt EV with all the equipment it needs to self-drive on an urban testing course.
GM and SAE first announced the project in late 2016, saying that selected school teams would focus on "real-world applications of sensing technologies, computing platforms, software design implementation and advanced computation methods." In other words, GM is counting on these young ones to nail all the really hard stuff. The first major milestone comes in the Spring of 2018 — by then, the schools involved should be able to get their Bolts down a straight road without any obstacles.
Tapping into this kind of institutional power is a smart move on GM's part — savvy young researchers and engineers could dream up solutions that stodgy corporate brain trusts might miss. Including Kettering, Michigan Tech and the University of Michigan was a no-brainer — thanks to their proximity, these schools have enjoyed long-standing relationships with the auto industry. Every other university on the list, though, has tested their own self-driving technologies as well. A related blog post from the University of Toronto sheds a little light on how big these efforts will be: UT's team will lean on something like 100 students, with roles ranging from sensor calibration to algorithm design.