GM to deliver autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel

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

Speaking of the Cruise AV, General Motors' president Dan Ammann said: "It's a pretty exciting moment in the history of the path to wide scale [autonomous vehicle] deployment and having the first production auto with no driver controls, and it's an interesting thing to share with everybody". While the state is a hub for robot-car development, with more than 40 companies testing vehicles, having a safety driver behind the wheel is now required. With the Cruise AV, there is no such option. This is for the fourth generation of the automaker's self-driving Cruise AV vehicle. Waymo has made a limited number of autonomous vehicles without steering wheels and pedals. The dashboard looks identical to the Bolt EV sans steering wheel and pedal. In the case of a malfunction, the Cruise AV can automatically slow itself and pull over to the side of the road, contacting GM's support team as it does so.

Moreover the General Motors vehicle will not be a prototype; the vehicle manufacturer aims to mass-produce these new types of self-driving cars and make them widely available to the public, especially in emerging smart cities with location software in place.

To be produced at GM's factory in Orion, Michigan, the self-driving cars will be used for autonomous ride-hailing services in a number of United States cities. That enables the automaker to "safely take the next step - elimination of the steering wheel, pedals and other manual controls". GM President Dan Ammann told The Verge that the company is not seeking for an exemption, though - instead, it wants to "meet that standard in a different kind of way". The reveal is part of a safety petition the company has filed with the Department of Transportation.

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For more details, you can jump into GM's 2018 Self-Driving Safety Report. The work started by retrofitting vehicles with lidar, sensors, and other equipment to read the surroundings and make drive decisions but the end goal was always a bespoke self-driving auto.

■If there's a crash, OnStar immediately is connected with two-way response and can gauge the severity of injuries based on feedback from the auto. The robo-taxi could earn revenue in the "several hundred thousands of dollars" region, Ammann said, compared to the $30,000 average revenue earned from GM cars sold today. Now, autonomous cars like this don't meet the Federal Motor Vehicle's safety standards.

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