General Motors announced the creation of a specially-dedicated team of experts to accelerate the development process autonomous and electric cars.
The team will be led by GM’s vice president for global product Doug Parks.
Effective 1 February, Parks and his team will responsible for creating and executing autonomous drive vehicles in addition to advanced technology vehicle programs.
Parks will oversee efforts to develop new electrical and battery systems and software for the vehicles, and report to Mark Reuss, head of global product development, GM said in a statement.
Sheri Hickok was named executive chief engineer for “autonomous joint ventures and fleet execution,” GM said. Hickok is currently chief engineer for “next generation” pickup trucks.
Pam Fletcher, GM’s executive chief engineer for electric vehicles, will take on additional responsibilities for strategic planning related to autonomous and electric vehicles.
Andrew Farah, currently Chief Engineer, Global Electrified Vehicles, is promoted to Chief Technology Architect, Autonomous Systems. Farah will lead the technical activities of the teams empowered to create hardware, software and controls mechanisms which support autonomous vehicles. In addition, he will lead the Global Product Development teams focus on technologies required for autonomous vehicle operations.
Scott Miller, currently Director, Global CO2 Strategy, Energy, Mass and Aerodynamics, is appointed Director, Autonomous Vehicle Integration. He will be the technical director for Autonomous feature and controls integration, vehicle and feature validation, and vehicle development teams.
GM plans to launch late this year the electric Chevrolet Bolt EV, which would run about 200 miles on a charge, priced at about $35,000. That is roughly double the range of other electric cars in that price range.
This follows GM’s announcement early this month over its $500 million investment in ride hailing start-up Lyft. The partnership is said to focus on developing an on-demand autonomous vehicle network for the US.