2015 Chevrolet Spark EV is Centerpiece of GM and Google Pilot Program | Edmunds

2015 Chevrolet Spark EV is Centerpiece of GM and Google Pilot Program


Just the Facts:
  • General Motors and Google are conducting a ride-sharing pilot program using the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV, the automaker said in its latest sustainability report released on Monday.
  • The pilot program is taking place on Google?s main campus in Mountain View, California.
  • "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.

DETROIT — General Motors and Google are conducting a ride-sharing pilot program using the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV, the automaker said in its latest sustainability report released on Monday.

The pilot program is taking place on Google’s main campus in Mountain View, California.

"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."

The Spark EV was chosen for the program because of its "small footprint," along with its four-passenger cabin, energy efficiency, handling agility and connectivity.

GM is also using its Technical Center in Warren, Michigan as a test bed for ideas. The campus is faced with a scarcity of 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.

Employees are using an app to find parking spaces. The goal is to help ease traffic backups and to combat wasted fuel as drivers looking for parking or wait in traffic.

The sustainability report shows GM’s latest thinking on a number of key issues, including vehicle-sharing and connectivity.

"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.

GM intends to have 500,000 vehicles on the road in the U.S. by 2017 that would be powered in some way by electricity, including plug-in hybrids, pure electrics and hybrids. The Spark EV and the 2014 Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid are illustrations of that initiative.

Edmunds says: GM and Google are unlikely bedfellows, but it’s a new world when it comes to transportation and making life easier for consumers and commuters.

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