GM is investing more than $100 million in two facilities to build autonomous vehicles. The car, known as the Cruise AV, will be assembled at Orion Township Assembly while the roof modules will be made Brownstown Assembly.

Both plants are in Michigan and production is expected to begin in 2019.

"We're continuing to make great progress on our plans to commercialize in 2019," said GM President Dan Ammann in a statement. "Our Orion and Brownstown teams have proven experience in building high-quality self-driving test vehicles and battery packs, so they are well-prepared to produce the Cruise AV."

General Motors could be accused of jumping the gun here, since NHTSA hasn't yet approved its petition for government approval of a fully autonomous (no steering wheel, brake pedal, or accelerator) vehicles yet.

The announcement does come on the heels of a meeting Mary Barra, CEO, had with EPA and government officials, though. Although that meeting also addressed fuel economy rules, GM also asserts that the self-driving cars were discussed.

GM previously announced that it would be increasing Chevy Bolt production this year. The Bolt and the Cruise AV cars share a platform and are both built at the Orion Township plant.

If approved, the vehicles will become part of GM's first fleet of autonomous cars. Part of the wildly popular ride sharing boom, the Cruise AVs signal a new avenue of investment for GM and, indeed, the rest of the automotive industry.

[source: Automotive News]