Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

GM wants to make autonomous auto with no traditional controls by 2019

Meet the Cruise AV, GM's First Production-Ready Driverless Car GM just revealed a fully autonomous electric car that doesn't have a steering wheel
Troy Mann | 12 January, 2018, 16:43

The reveal is part of a safety petition the company has filed with the Department of Transportation.

This will be one of the first self-driving vehicles in commercial passenger service and among the first to do away with manual controls for steering, brakes and throttle.

Kyle Vogt, the chief executive officer at Cruise Automation, a software developing unit for GM's driver-less cars, based in San Francisco, said in a statement that, "What's really special about this is if you look back 20 years from now, it's the first vehicle without a steering wheel and pedals".

However, GM would still need to get permission from most states to operate cars with no human drivers.

For instance, the current (and voluminous) Federal Motor-Vehicle Safety Standards document assumes a steering wheel that contains an airbag for the driver.

Executives said seven states already allow the alterations sought by the automaker.

How the public will react remains to be seen, but they'll get their chance next year if GM's Chevrolet Cruise AV goes into production as planned.

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The company declined to identify the first states in which it plans to launch the vehicle or say when it would begin testing.

GM is requesting that 2,500 vehicles receive exemptions. Most of those companies have one or more partners.

Companies like Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Volvo have also announced plans to offer electrified versions of all of its cars by 2022.

While Alphabet's Waymo has been testing a auto without a steering wheel in 2014, the company did not have to apply for an exemption of the FMVSS because the vehicle was not driving at full speed. This is also important if a passenger forgets to close the door after a ride.

The Detroit automaker is looking to meet its deadline for deploying a driverless ride-hailing service next year in a yet-to-be-named city.

At a November 30 briefing in San Francisco, Mr Ammann told investors the lifetime revenue generation of one of its self-driving cars could eventually be 'several hundred thousands of dollars'. That compares with the $30,000 on average that GM collects today for one of its vehicles, mostly derived from the initial sale.

The all-electric vehicle will be based on GM's fourth-generation Chevrolet Bolt, which is now being tested on the public roads of San Francisco and Phoenix. It has previously pointed to the challenges of testing in dense urban areas.

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