Nov. 29 (UPI) -- General Motors unveiled its autonomous Chevy Bolt on Wednesday and allowed media and analysts to take a test ride in the self-driving vehicle.
GM provided a look at the results of its work with San Francisco startup Cruise Automation. Company President Dan Ammann said GM plans to mass produce its self-driving cars in a matter of "quarters, not years."
"Stay tuned," he said.
GM allowed media and analysts to hail one of the vehicles, a Bolt electric vehicle equipped with about 40 radar and lidar sensors, through an app. They rode through actual city traffic to one of several pre-set destinations.
A Cruise employee was stationed behind the wheel of each vehicle with another in the passenger seat pointing out potential obstacles.
"This is a big moment for me, personally, and for General Motors and for Cruise," Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise said.
Business Insider's Troy Wolverton said two of the self-driving vehicles bypassed him after hailing them via the app outside of Dogpatch Studio. The second circled back around to take him for his ride.
Wolverton also said the Bolt was more hesitant than the average human driver while navigating San Francisco's steep and narrow roadways, and had difficulty navigating around a pair of double-parked trucks.
"The Cruise vehicle moved slowly and prudently into the oncoming lane. It nudged out just a bit to better see the traffic heading toward us. When things were clear, it pulled out. But then, while pointed in the wrong direction in the opposite lane, it just stopped," he wrote. "After waiting for two cars to go around the truck on their side and pass us going the other way, it finally went around the truck on our side and proceeded on."
"The Bolt is so cautious that it might bore even a conservative driver to tears," he wrote.
Vogt said the Bolt is designed to assume a defensive driving posture as Cruise believes self-driving cars should reduce crashes and fatalities above all else.
"Comfort and smoothness of ride is a distant priority after making the vehicle safe," Vogt said. "Over the company's three-year history, only about 2 percent of the time have we considered any element of smoothness or comfort. It has been entirely about getting you there safely."