General Motors surprised consumers in 2016 when they released an affordable mass-market EV before Tesla had a chance to release their highly anticipated Model 3 Sedan. At 200 miles or more of range and for only $37,500, the Chevrolet Bolt EV was a hit among everyday car lovers and environmentalists.
The Bolt sold more than 23,000 models in 2017 and performed so well with buyers that it was named Business Insider’s 2017 car of the year runner-up. Although its supply chain is not entirely in the U.S., GM assembled the car at its Orion Township, MI factory. The popularity of the 2016 Bolt EV inspired the automaker to develop a self-driving version of the model.
The autonomous Bolt EV was built with a software startup called Cruise Automation which equipped the car with a 360-degree view of its surroundings and other unique features. Months later, a fleet of the vehicles were tested on the streets of San Francisco and Scottsdale, AZ,
Due to its success and innovation, GM recently donated the car to the nationally recognized Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan. It is the first autonomous car to be featured in the museum of over 26 million artifacts.
“Autonomous vehicles will change people’s lives forever, just as the automobile itself did more than a hundred years ago,” said General Motors President Mark Reuss.“The Henry Ford is a treasured institution where past and present innovations are documented and displayed, and GM is proud to provide our autonomous test vehicle to serve as an inspiration to the innovators of tomorrow.”
The General Motors’ self driving Chevrolet Bolt EV showcases true American innovation. Matt Anderson, the museum’s curator of automotive artifacts, said that it won’t be the museum’s last self-driving car.
You can check out the autonomous car and other American inventions at the Henry Ford Museum. The Bolt EV is near the entrance of the “Driving America” exhibit.