GM debuts self-driving vehicle with no steering wheel

14 January, 2018, 00:35 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • General Motors

According Engadget the auto is described 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".

Even though these companies have tested Level 4 vehicles, most of the time they had a driver at the wheel to make sure there isn't an accident if the system doesn't work properly.

The automaker said it petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 16 specific exceptions to meet current federal safety standards with workarounds that accommodate the cars' unique nature.

GM and subsidiary Cruise Automation say their fourth-generation autonomous vehicle is ready for testing without a driver, deeming the antiquated steering wheel and pedals useless.

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"Where FMVSS can not be met because they are human-driver-based requirements, the vehicle will meet the safety purposes of those standards", GM's report said. Pending government approval, GM intends to release its completely self-driving Cruise AV to the market in 2019. Now only seven states-Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, and Nevada-allow for testing vehicles without steering wheels or pedals.

Like the report Waymo issued previous year, GM's report discusses how its sensors and software work, and how it validates new technology at GM test tracks with driving simulators and on-the-road experience.

Riders will use a Cruise AV mobile-app to hail the cars, which will launch in one unnamed US city next year. That enables the automaker to "safely take the next step - elimination of the steering wheel, pedals and other manual controls". 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. The new vehicle is based on the all-electric Chevy Bolt structure.

Cruise has driven "hundreds of thousands of complex urban miles" in the self-driving cars, Vogt has said.

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The automaker added that it will work with regulators to develop new safety standards and petition for "permission to meet the safety objective of a standard through alternative means".

As of right now, only seven states allow the technology in the Bolt to be tested without a safety driver, GM's chief counsel and policy director for transportation as a service, Paul Hemmersbaugh, said, Bloomberg reports.

"Our self-driving vehicle is the result of intensely focused development, and countless hours of real-world testing and validation".

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