General Motors Reveals Self-Driving Car Without Steering Wheel

General Motors Reveals Self-Driving Car Without Steering Wheel

General Motors Reveals Self-Driving Car Without Steering Wheel

"That's why we believe this is a notable moment on the journey to full AV deployment".

The automaker has petitioned the federal government for approval to adjust 16 motor vehicle standards so it can test cars that have no steering wheel, pedals and other driver controls.

"When you don't have a steering wheel, it makes no sense to talk about an airbag in a steering wheel", Paul Hemmersbaugh, GM's policy director for autonomous vehicles, told reporters. "Our self-driving vehicles will improve access to mobility for those who now can not drive due to age, disability, or otherwise". The Cruise AV is created to operate with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or other manual controls when it goes on the road in 2019.

Now only seven states-Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, and Nevada-allow for testing vehicles without steering wheels or pedals.

Called the Cruise AV, an ode to Cruise Automation, the startup GM purchased in 2016 and converted into its autonomous vehicle division, the auto will be GM's fourth-generation self-driving auto following a version of the Chevy Bolt introduced late a year ago.

The all-electric runabout looks like a retrofitted Chevrolet Bolt EV - unsurprising, given the new Bolt EV serves as GM's self-driving platform - with a symmetrical dashboard that swaps the steering wheel and instrument panel for a mirrored layout of the passenger-side dash. The robo-taxi could earn revenue in the "several hundred thousands of dollars" region, Ammann said, compared to the $30,000 average revenue earned from GM cars sold today.

Besides the absence of a steering wheel, pedals, and other controls for the missing driver, the Cruise AV adds numerous sensors including the pricey but crucial Lidar that can be seen protruding from the rooftop bar. The company declined to say where it would like to launch the fleets, which customers would hail via an app and engage with via touchscreens inside the vehicles.

GM submitted a safety petition with the Department of Transportation Thursday and plans to mass produce the vehicle as early as next year, the automotive giant announced Friday. The company points out that self-driving cars have the ability to take human error out of the equation, which is responsible for 94% of all accidents. They simply want to "meet that standard in a different kind of way".

The company has released an image of the interior of its forthcoming auto. Current law caps the number of exempted vehicles at 2,500 vehicles per manufacturer per year.

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