Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

GM is dropping the steering wheel in autonomous cars

GM is dropping the steering wheel in autonomous cars

Its plans for the fourth-generation model, aka the Cruise AV (yes Cruise, not Cruze), are radical: No steering wheel, no pedals, no manual controls, and no driver.

The automaker said it petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 16 specific exceptions to meet current federal safety standards with workarounds that accommodate the cars' unique nature.

As you can see above, Cruise AV is much different from the self-driving Chevy Bolts GM is testing in California.

General Motors Co. will run the self-driving cars in a test batch for a ride-sharing program starting in 2019.

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As GM made the announcement on Friday, shares in the company rose as high as 1.1 percent at 9:36am in NY, coming in at $44.68, GM's highest intraday trading level since November 29, Bloomberg Technology reports. 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.

General Motors (GM) has announced it will be making the first mass-produced self-driving auto that will come without a steering wheel or pedals. In late 2017, GM announced at an investor event in San Francisco it would launch self-driving vehicles meant for deliveries and ride-hailing services in five us markets in 2019.

Without the need for a steering wheel or pedal, we wonder whether GM could take things a step further. The Cruise AV is even able to close its own doors, should passengers leaving the vehicle not shut them properly. GM President Dan Ammann told The Verge that the company isn't now desiring an exemption, rather will find a different way to "meet that standard in a different kind of way". The Detroit automaker has been testing self-driving Bolts in various urban locations, but has had backup or safety drivers in the front seat.

The company said passengers can get the vehicle moving by communicating with several interior screens.

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The automaker added that it will work with regulators to develop new safety standards and petition for "permission to meet the safety objective of a standard through alternative means". The self-driving vehicle is only intended for the automaker's ride-hailing service - at least for the time being.

GM is not only the American carmaker working on the self-driving vehicle sector.

Assuming the DOT approves GM's safety petition, we could all be driving alongside robots next year.

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