Watch Cruise’s self-driving Bolt EV navigate smoothly to SF’s Dolores Park

GM-owned Cruise Automation wants you to be able to see the progress it’s making with its self-driving car tests, in a way that’s more tangible than looking at boring lists of disengagement reports. That’s why it’s been publishing videos of its Cruise test cars navigating real city streets, and a new episode of that video series is available now, showing a Bolt EV equipped with Cruise’s software making its way around San Francisco’s Dolores Park neighbourhood.

The video includes a handy on-screen indicator showing when it’s in autonomous mode, which appears to be throughout the entire course of the sped up footage. Kyle Vogt, Cruise CEO, provided the following statement about the conditions of the drive in an emailed statement:

This video was captured from one of our autonomous vehicles during a series of back to back test rides. No advance planning was done, and this was captured in a single take. The operator selected a random destination using the Cruise mobile app, pushed a button, and the vehicle started moving. Rides like this occur hundreds of times per day across our test fleets.

The point Vogt is making is that this Cruise demo video shows real-world capabilities, in unpredictable circumstances. Of course, GM still gets to choose what videos it release, but that’s still impressive if you’ve ever spent any time as a passenger in any self-driving vehicles. At one point the Cruise vehicle manages navigating around a stopped moving truck that’s blocking a full lane, for instance, and it also deals with multiple pedestrians and at least one bike rider with seeming ease.

GM has test vehicles on the road in San Francisco, Arizona and Michigan, and plans to build future self-driving vehicles based on the Bolt platform in its assembly facility near Lake Orion, Mich.