General Motors Plans to Introduce Completely Driverless Cars by Next Year (GM)

Meet the Cruise AV, GM's First Production-Ready Driverless Car

Legislation to allow carmakers to test driverless vehicles on USA roads with less hassle - called the SELF DRIVE act - is still pending approval in the Senate, although it has already been passed by the House of Representatives.

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

General Motors (GM) announced Friday that it plans to put a truly self-driving vehicle - with no steering wheels, pedals and manual controls, or even the usual backup driver in the front seat - on the road in 2019.

News about driverless or automated cars is pretty routine now, even from companies that don't even make cars. One of the technicalities that needs to be rectified is the fact that the auto does not have an airbag fitted into its steering wheel, the obvious reason for this being that the vehicle doesn't have a steering wheel.

As noted from the interior photo, the Cruise AV is clearly based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV. GM executives said seven USA states already allow the alterations sought by the automaker.

GM is seeking approval to put a fleet of autonomous cars, with no steering wheel or pedals, on the road in 2019.

"When we deploy our self-driving vehicles, customers will use a mobile app to request a ride, just like they use ride-sharing today", the company wrote in its report.

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Driverless, electric Cruise AVs that have no steering wheel, pedals or gear selectors are planned for mass production by 2019.

■Seat belts must be buckled and doors closed before the cars start to move.

However, GM President Dan Ammann told The Verge GM that the company might "meet that standard in a different kind of way".

GM has been testing its self-driving vehicles on the busy streets of San Francisco, where one recently collided with a motorcyclist, who was taken to the hospital, according to Ars Technica.

"When GM acquired Cruise, we began by installing our technology into existing cars as a retrofit strategy, and we knew that wouldn't scale", Kyle Vogt, Cruise CEO, said.

It's worth mentioning that cars like this don't meet Federal Motor Vehicle's safety standards, but automakers are able to apply for exemption; however, the government can only exempt 2,500 vehicles every year. Moreover, the company divulged that it has petitioned the Department of Transportation to adjust certain safety laws so to accommodate the model's unusual characteristics.

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