Self-driving auto without steering wheel, pedals coming in 2019

Posted January 14, 2018

With the Cruise AV, there is no such option.

GM plans to put the vehicle into full production next year, should the US Department of Transportation approve its latest Safety Petition.

General Motors (GM) says it is mass-producing autonomous cars that give complete control to the machine by taking away both the steering wheel and pedals.

"If you look back 20 years from now at the history of autonomous vehicle deployment, it is a major milestone to create a production vehicle with no manual controls, especially one built in a high-volume production line", said Cruise co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt in a conference call with reporters.

More news: Facebook Changes May Impact San Antonio Digital Marketers

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.

As the vehicle is entirely autonomous, the company said there was no need for a steering wheel or even a brake pedal. Still, for the Cruise AV, GM has to negotiate with states that explicitly require a licensed human driver behind the wheel.

American auto giant General Motors (GM) has shed some light on its new vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals.

As The Washington Post reported last month, the ambitious timeline GM has set for getting the Cruise AV on the road could place the automaker in an enviable position - the unique ability to provide existing ride-hailing companies such as Lyft or Uber with a growing fleet of autonomous vehicles or, better yet, to unleash GM's own service.

More news: Vice President Pence to lead USA delegation to Winter Olympics

In October, Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google's parent company, released a safety report of its own. GM president Dan Ammann says that it is the first production-ready auto to have no manual controls. GM is asking for exceptions to rules around cars on roads that are specific to having humans at the wheel, and detailing their workarounds and safety measures.

News of the new robot-taxi from GM comes in the form of a Safety Petition the company filed with the Department of Transportation.

At a November 30 briefing in San Francisco, GM's Ammann told investors the lifetime revenue generation of one of its self-driving cars could eventually be "several hundred thousands of dollars". In February 2017, the automaker said it will invest $1 billion during the next five years in Argo AI to develop a virtual driver system for Ford's autonomous vehicles.

GM showed the third-generation test vehicle in October and has been using a geo-fenced portion of San Francisco for testing, a suitably tricky test bed to ensure vehicles can handle any situation. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Consumer Federation of America are releasing a poll today that shows "significant and widespread concerns" among the US public about the development and deployment of self-driving cars.

More news: Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Ohio Purging Inactive Voters