GM's Cruise AV Driverless Car Ditches Steering Wheel, Pedals

GM Cruise AV

Now all autonomous vehicle rules require a human to be behind the wheel during testing on public roads. With the Cruise AV, there is no such option.

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

But because the new GM vehicle is fully autonomous, the company says there is no need for manual controls, such as a steering wheel or accelerator and brake pedals.

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.

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GM's autonomous test cars were in 22 accidents in California past year, according to data from the state's Department of Motor Vehicles.

GM notes that the Cruise AV will be able to operate without a steering wheel, pedals or any other form of manual input.

The Cruise AV has 360-degree vision, both night and day, GM says. Cruise AV cars will be produced in the company's plant in Orion, Michigan, and will deployed as ride-hailing vehicles in a number of cities. For instance, cars now are required to have an air bag in the steering wheel.

In 2017, General Motors Co. also announced a new concept vehicle, the SURUS, or Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure. For self-driving cars, these are "unintentional but necessary" barriers, he said, and the company is pushing for a change in the laws.

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And the auto doesn't just drive itself, if you forget to close the door behind you it'll do that itself without complaint before heading off to pick up another fare. The Detroit automaker has been testing self-driving Bolts in various urban locations, but has had backup or safety drivers in the front seat. A poll released this week, as Congress hashes out legislation for autonomous vehicles, found that many Americans are concerned about sharing the road with robot cars and want stricter federal oversight.

Assuming the DOT approves GM's safety petition, we could all be driving alongside robots next year.

With a vision of zero crashes, zero emissions, GM claims that the driverless Cruise AV "has the potential to provide a level of safety far beyond the capabilities of humans". For example, with vehicle manufacturers such as Volvo, Tesla and BMW, driverless cars are seen as the future of driving and have altered the future manufacturing strategy of these firms.

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