Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

GM just introduced a self-driving vehicle without a steering wheel

GM just introduced a self-driving vehicle without a steering wheel

The automaker announced today that it filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Transportation to "safely deploy" a self-driving auto - its Cruise AV - in 2019.

One of the standards GM is asking to be waived is the requirement for vehicles to have airbags in their steering wheels, which wouldn't of course be possible for vehicles that don't have a steering wheel in the first place. Responding to questions about when and where the vehicles would be tested, Vogt had a one-word answer: "2019".

The Cruise AV is created to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or other manual controls when it goes on the road in 2019.

On Friday, General Motors Co. made the announcement that it plans to mass-produce a vehicle with no steering wheel. What is the driver's seat in the Bolt EV will become the front left passenger seat in the Cruise AV, GM said.

As noted from the interior photo, the Cruise AV is clearly based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV. They'll also be attuned to other road users: even if the car's sensors make it smart enough to drive at regular speed in fog, it'll slow down to match human drivers in the same conditions.

General Motors has revealed pictures and a video of its new invention, an innovative unmanned vehicle that drives entirely without human control.

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GM's experiment will be a significant step forward for self-driving cars. Meanwhile, Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, is preparing to launch its first commercial ride-hailing service in Phoenix featuring fully driverless minivans, although these vehicles still will have traditional controls, the Verge reported.

GM said it's filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) to test the cars.

In a report about the project, GM details how the cars will be summoned by an app that automatically sets their climate controls and audio systems to the user's preferences.

Only seven states now allow cars without drivers (though in practice there are virtually none, because the technology is still being perfected).

"Once we get that approval from the federal government, we will be cleared to deploy these vehicles", said Paul Hemmersbaugh, GM chief counsel and public policy director.

There were some standout elements in the announcement made by GM, such as GM's argument st why it's testing in San Francisco is more important than its suburban testing.

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