General Motors reveals images of car without driver controls
General Motors plans to mass-produce self-driving cars that lack traditional controls like steering wheels and pedals by 2019, the company announced today.
The automaker revealed images of an autonomous car it’s hoping to put into production by 2019 and is petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for permission to do so.
Earlier General Motors Co. has submitted its federal safety proposal to put a robotic vehicle with no steering wheel or gas pedal on public roads in 2019.
If the Department of Transportation grants GM’s latest Safety Petition, the automaker will be able to deploy its no-steering-wheel, pedal-less autonomous car next year.
The petition also asks permission to meet 16 safety requirements “in a different way,” Paul Hemmersbaugh, GM’s chief counsel and public policy director for transportation and service, said on a conference call.
The car will be the fourth generation of its driver less, all-electric Chevy Bolts, which are currently being tested on public roads in San Francisco and Phoenix.
Cruise AV is much different from the self-driving Chevy Bolts GM is testing in California. It has no controls whatsoever, not even buttons you can push it 100 percent treats you as a passenger, no matter where you sit and can even open and shut doors on its own.
The company describes it as “the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls.”
Versions of the car with driver controls are currently being tested in San Francisco and Phoenix. They feature a large array of sensors on the roof that will be engineered to pass crash tests with the rest of the vehicle.
The cars will be equipped with OnStar crash-response, which will automatically alert an OnStar representative and predict the severity of injuries in the event of a collision.
Waymo, the former Google self-drive project, said at the end of last year it was ready to pull safety drivers from the front seat of its autonomous Pacifica minivans. But it didn’t plan to remove manual controls.
The Uber and Waymo test vehicles still have steering wheels and pedals. Waymo announced in November that it was removing test drivers from the front seat. It plans to launch a commercial service in the Phoenix area this year.
Last year, Ford said it plans to develop self-driving vehicles without steering wheels, though those vehicles are not expected to be ready until 2021.