GM first to assemble self-driving test vehicles in mass production facility

General Motors is showing off what it's doing to develop the car of the future at  the Lake Orion assembly plant.

We've been hearing about driverless technology for some time, and we're learning more about the autonomous Chevy Bolt.

It's not just a concept - it's something that's being built in a factory that already exists.

GM is the first company to assemble self-driving test vehicles in a mass production facility.

They started rolling off the line in January.

GM CEO Mary Barra teamed up with Silicon Valley start-up Cruise to make autonomous technology a part of the Bolt EV.

Barra called the sensors and other hardware "a substantial leap forward in autonomous technology."

"It will provide GM engineers with more data and faster processing speeds to adapt and problem solve in real time," she said.

Safety is the first priority, Barra says, so how do you make sure these are safe?

Test them out on the roads. That's already happening in San Francisco, Scottsdale in Arizona, and here in Metro Detroit, hitting the streets in Warren.

"Expansion of our real-world test fleet will help us ensure that our self-driving vehicles meet the same strict standards for safety and quality that we build into all of our vehicles," Barra said.

The 130 new vehicles equipped with the autonomous gear will join the more than 50 self-driving Bolt EVs already being tested on the roads.

Barra herself has tested them out.

"Because I know the rigor of the development we're doing - the same that we do for all of our vehicles - but for this specific technology, I had great trust in the system," she said. "This technology is moving at such a rapid pace, as we continue to develop, we're going to work in partnership with our regulators to make sure that we have the right standards."

The reason for Tuesday's presser is because this is the first full-scale plant that's creating the autonomous vehicle and they're using something that was already being built there - the Bolt EV.

The bottom line for Barra - this isn't just a concept, it's real and it's happening at the Lake Orion assembl