GM plans autonomous auto with no wheels or pedals for 2019

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

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

General Motors Co (GM.N) is seeking US government approval for a fully autonomous vehicle - one without a steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator pedal - to enter the automaker's first commercial ride-sharing fleet in 2019, executives said.

All vehicles that are allowed to operate on public roads must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards - 16 of which include human-driver-based requirements. As defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers, cars at that level can drive without human intervention but only in certain geographic areas. For instance, cars now are required to have an air bag in the steering wheel. Waymo announced in November that it was removing test drivers from the front seat.

This glimpse at the near-future comes a month after GM made the bold announcement that it would have a fully driverless taxi fleet up and running in 2019.

The company declined to identify the first states in which it plans to launch the vehicle or say when it would begin testing.

No steering wheel, no problem.

However, the Detroit automaker has been gearing up to see its last date of deploying an autonomous ride-hailing fleet next year.

Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Tuesday it will partner with delivery service Postmates Inc as the automaker starts testing ways to transport people, food and packages this spring in its self-driving cars, which are being developed by Ford's Argo unit.

Above: GM: Fourth generation vehicle, the Cruise AV.

"If passengers don't respond, an OnStar Advisor uses Global Positioning System technology to pinpoint the exact location of the vehicle and request that emergency help be sent immediately". All other companies combined had five accidents.

General Motors has just unveiled ambitious plans to mass product a self-driving auto that would truly change the way we drive, as GM's autonomous vehicle would ship without a steering wheel or pedals. If the federal safety highway agency approves GM's petition, the automaker could build up to 2,500 of these vehicles per year, though the automaker has not committed to a firm production plan.

Manufacturers can get around those standards by petitioning NHTSA for exemptions, provided they demonstrate that the exempted vehicle will be at least as safe as a conventional one.

GM also needs approval from the individual states it wants to run the cars in. Currently, only seven states allow the technology to be tested without a safety driver, said Paul Hemmersbaugh, GM's chief counsel and policy director for transportation as a service.

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