"We should be very proud," she told the hundreds, if not thousands, lined up along several stories of the Detroit landmark. "This journey we're on is so important."
The Cruise AV is the next step in GM's "triple zero" vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion -- an overarching goal for the company that Barra announced in 2017.
GM announced the fourth-gen Cruise AV last week in conjunction with a petition filed with NHTSA, the nation's top auto safety regulator, for permission to work around certain federal vehicle standards in order to launch the vehicles without manual controls in public ride-hailing services in 2019.
GM is testing self-driving vehicles in Arizona, California and Michigan. It is expected to expand to New York City in 2018.
The self-driving vehicle, developed with GM subsidiary Cruise Automation, is based on GM's battery-powered Chevrolet Bolt EV.