GM just introduced a self-driving auto without a steering wheel
14 January, 2018, 00:33 | Author: Barbara Daniel
GM described its full self-driving vehicle as "the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls". GM and other companies have tested autonomous cars on the road, yet the vehicles typically have an engineer behind the wheel, reading to take over in case the need arises.
General Motors Co is seeking USA government approval for a fully autonomous auto - one without a steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator pedal - to enter the automaker's first commercial ride-sharing fleet in 2019, executives said. Similar petitions would also be sent to local transportation authorities, but GM said that seven states already permit the changes they needed to test the Cruise AV.
According to General Motors, its latest contribution to automated transport, the Cruise AV, only has to cross a few more regulatory hurdles before it can begin giving people rides across the USA.
Companies like Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Volvo have also announced plans to offer electrified versions of all of its cars by 2022.
The concept shows a vehicle which has no mirrors, steering wheel or pedals, but it does have screens for every passenger and what appear to be two large, red emergency stop buttons in the roof and within reach of all passengers. What is the driver's seat in the Bolt EV will become the front left passenger seat in the Cruise AV, GM said. GM executives said seven USA states already allow the alterations sought by the automaker.
Moreover the General Motors vehicle will not be a prototype; the vehicle manufacturer aims to mass-produce these new types of self-driving cars and make them widely available to the public, especially in emerging smart cities with location software in place. The company is building its self-driving vehicles at its assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan. The automaker has been testing its self-driving Chevy Bolt on the streets of San Francisco and Phoenix. The company released a short video offering us a sneak peek at what the vehicle may look like when it rolls out of GM's factories. "It doesn't drink and drive, doesn't text and drive, doesn't get upset, doesn't get exhausted, never gets distracted, and doesn't produce any emissions".
Assuming the DOT approves GM's safety petition, we could all be driving alongside robots next year. Earlier in the fall, the federal government had requested more safety details from the self-driving vehicle industry.
If successful, GM's move would signal a major step forward for both electric and autonomous cars.
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