General Motors is looking for U.S. government approval for a fully autonomous car – one without a steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator pedal – to go into the automaker’s first industrial ride-sharing fleet in 2019, executives stated.
For passengers who can not open doors, the Cruise AV – a rebranded version of GM’s Chevrolet Bolt EV – has even been designed to carry out that task. It will have other accommodations for hearing and visually impaired clients.
This will be among the first self-driving vehicles in industrial guest service and among the first to do away with manual controls for steering, brakes and throttle. What is the motorist’s seat in the Bolt EV will become the front left passenger seat in the Cruise AV, automaker stated.
Company President Dan Ammann informed press reporters GM had filed on Thursday for government approval to release the “first production-ready vehicle developed from the start without a guiding wheel, pedals or other unnecessary manual controls.”
GM is part of a growing crowd of automakers, technology business and tech startups looking to establish so-called robo-taxis over the next 3 years in North America, Europe and Asia. The majority of those companies have several partners.
On Friday, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed GM had petitioned for approval to run as much as 2,500 vehicles without steering wheels or human motorists. “Safety is the (Transportation) department’s top priority. The department will examine this petition and give it mindful consideration,” the agency stated.
Ford Motor stated on recently it will partner with delivery service Postmates Inc as the automaker begins testing ways to transport individuals, food and packages this spring in its self-driving vehicles, which are being developed by Ford’s Argo unit.