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

14 January, 2018, 00:35 | Author: Manuel Hopkins
  • GM Cruise AV

General Motors on Friday revealed that it has filed a Safety Petition with the Department of Transportation for the fourth-gen Cruise AV, which will become the world's first production vehicle to be manufactured from the ground up with no steering wheel, pedals, or manual controls. And in most areas of the country where testing is taking place on public roads, local authorities have required that companies have test drivers on hand to take over in case of an emergency.

That's the big takeaway from first peak inside General Motors new autonomous vehicle, which lacks the steering wheel, pedals, manual controls and human drivers that have come to define the experience of riding inside an automobile for more than a century.

Kyle Vogt, the CEO of Cruise Automation said during last November that their plans for self-driving deployment do not involve small-scale pilots, which raised questions on road safety. The company declined to say where it would like to launch the fleets, which customers would hail via an app and engage with via touchscreens inside the vehicles. While it might seem like GM is asking for a special treatment, they really aren't, Ammann told The Verge.

The Chevy Bolt-based Cruise EV has not steering wheel, pedals or gear selector. GM executives said seven US states already allow the alterations sought by the automaker.

"What's really special about this is if you look back 20 years from now, it's the first auto without a steering wheel and pedals", Kyle Vogt, chief executive officer of Cruise Automation, told Bloomberg News.

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The automaker is preparing to meet its 2019 goal for deploying a driverless ride-hailing service in a yet-to-be-announced USA city.

In 2014, Google introduced a self-driving prototype without a steering wheel or pedals. The automaker and companies including Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo unit and startup Zoox Inc. have demonstrated cars that can drive with so-called Level 4 autonomy.

Self-driving technology "is only going to have a big impact if we can deploy it at large scale", GM's chief financial officer, Dan Ammann, said in an interview with New York Times.

That gets thorny. GM says it's complied with the government's latest automated driving guidelines, but the legalities of control-free cars are complex. It's the fourth generation of GM's self-driving vehicle. 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.

GM has seen a high incidence of accidents with its self-driving cars.



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