Chevy Bolt: What is this Mysterious Autonomous Vehicle Codenamed 'Albatross' Doing in the Streets of San Francisco?

Feb 13, 2017 03:37 PM EST | BC Tabotabo

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A Chevy Bolt codenamed "Albatross" was driving around the Potrero and Mission neighborhoods of San Francisco. General Motors has since released footage of the electric vehicles adventures.

General Motors has recently started to open up about their self-driving technology. Cruise Animation, the car manufacturer's autonomous driving subsidiary, released dashcam footage of its self-driving tests.

It has since released another dashcam video that now features footage from inside the car. The video shows a person in the driver's seat whose hands are hovering near the wheel. However, the electric vehicle appears to be steering itself for the duration of the video.

The Bolt EV is Car and Driver's top-rated electric vehicle. Despite its higher price point, its range and performance are reported to be better than expected. The battery-powered hatchback delivers over 200 miles of driving range for its 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The car may face stiff competition soon with the launch of the Tesla Model 3, which will also offer a similar size and battery-pack.

SF Gate reported that the video shows the all-electric and self-driving Chevy Bolt navigating around Mission and Potrero. The footage shows around 20 minutes of spontaneous driving captured during a single take. Using the Cruise mobile app, the operator selected a random destination, and the vehicle started moving.

General Motors disclosed that its self-driving cars had driven a total of 9,776 miles in California for 2016. Unlike most of its competitors, GM refuses to give any more details on its self-driving progress.

The Verge reported that in 2015, GM invested $500 million in Lyft for the purpose of building a fleet of self-driving ride-hail vehicles. There was some speculation that maybe the Cruise app will be used by riders in the future and could perhaps be marketed as a separate brand. GM has since released a statement saying the app was developed for employees to obtain a self-driving ride to work.

Currently, the fleet of vehicles is slowly growing. There are over 40 of them in the Stress of San Francisco, Scottsdale, AZ, and Detroit.

The Chevy Bolt has been making a silent but steady progress in the race to fully autonomous vehicles. While the latest footage looks promising, what else does GM have under its sleeves? Share your thoughts and comments below.

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