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Will a Fleet of Chevy Bolt Cars Debut in 2018?

Last year, General Motors dropped one buzzworthy bombshell — it would be partnering with ridesharing company Lyft to create a fleet of self-driving cars.

Now, the automotive giant is upping its game. According to sources who spoke to Reuters, GM is planning to deploy thousands of automated Chevy Bolt hatchbacks beginning next year.

Nuts and Bolts

If the buzz is true, this is expected to be the largest such test of fully autonomous vehicles by any major carmaker before 2020, when several companies have announced plans to begin building and deploying such vehicles in bigger numbers.

Because of this partnership with the ridesharing service, it doesn’t seem like GM has plans to sell this autonomous car to individual customers. According to sources, Lyft will test the new fleets in several states.

But, either way, swapping out regular cars with autonomous vehicles could cut down on driver and passenger deaths. In 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairman said that autonomous vehicles could save approximately 32,000 lives every year.

“Most crashes on our roads are due to driver error,” he pointed out. And with “no driver, there will be no driver error.” Driverless cars would tackle issues including “fatigue, distraction, impairment and fitness for duty,” and would improve “collision avoidance technologies.”

Staying Mum

Lyft hasn’t commented on the Chevy Bolt rumor, and GM released a statement: “We do not provide specific details on potential future products or technology rollout plans. We have said that our AV technology will appear in an on-demand ridesharing network application sooner than you might think.”

For Bolt enthusiasts, 2018 may not come soon enough.

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