GM, Google Pilot Program to Feature 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV

May 21, 2014 02:55 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro


Google is teaming up with General Motors to conduct a ride-sharing pilot program using the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV, according to a press release issued by the automaker.

The program will take place on Google's main campus in Mountain View, California.

The new Spark EV was chosen due to its "small footprint," and for its four-passenger cabin, handling agility, connectivity, and energy efficiency, according to the automaker.

"This learning pilot combines commuting data, analytics, telematics, navigation and smartphones to run a smart, real-time system that mixes and matches drivers, riders and cars during morning and evening commutes," GM said in the report. "Convenience through door-to-door service and flexible scheduling are key goals."

GM will also use its Technical Center in Warren, Michigan to test ideas.

Employees are currently using an app to help find parking spaces, according to GM. The goal is to help fight wasted fuel and ease traffic backups as drivers wait in traffic or look for parking.

"Through a partnership with Streetline, a parking technology company, we've installed sensors in our most used parking decks to measure demand and turnover patterns," GM said.

The automaker wants to have approximately 500,000 vehicles on the road in the U.S. by 2017 that would be powered by electricity in some fashion.

This includes pure electrics, hybrids, and plug-in models.

Current examples of this initiative includes the Spark EV and Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid.

"Facing an automotive industry that is unsustainable in its current form, General Motors is restructuring its global vehicle portfolio, rethinking manufacturing and collaborating with unlikely partners to advance the industry," GM said.

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