Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Cars without steering wheels? The day has come for GM

GM Cruise AV EMBARGOED DO NOT USE Meet the Cruise AV, GM's First Production-Ready Driverless Car
Pablo Mccormick | 14 January, 2018, 00:19

General Motors has revealed the Cruise AV, the first production-ready vehicle to lack two critical features: a steering wheel and pedals. There are displays on the back of the headrests which provide information to rear-seat passengers. The dashboard looks identical to the Bolt EV sans steering wheel and pedal.

If the safety petition gets approved, the Cruise AVs are expected to hit the San Francisco streets first where Cruise Automation is conducting tests.

Ford 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.

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In a report about the project, GM details how the cars will be summoned by an app that automatically sets their climate controls and audio systems to the user's preferences. GM and other companies have tested autonomous cars on the road, yet the vehicles typically have an engineer behind the wheel, reading to take over in case the need arises. If there's a problem, the vehicle will slow down, pull over to the roadside and stop.

To get its cars on the public road there are many hurdles for GM to clear. GM believes there are enough redundancies that the vehicle can handle itself even if certain components fail. This one really doesn't want you to drive it.

General Motors wants to add a fully autonomous auto - one with no steering or pedals - to its commercial ride-sharing fleets in 2019, and it's now seeking approval from the USA government to do so. "We believe the best way to bring self-driving technology to the world is to expose them to the same unique and complex traffic scenarios human drivers face every day".

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Instead of a steering wheel, the dashboard has a solitary touchscreen at the center that is surrounded by mostly blank surfaces.

GM sees the announcement Friday as a significant step toward the widespread adoption of self-driving vehicle technology. A Waymo spokesman said in November that the company has tested its cars in 20 different cities.

Above: GM: Fourth generation vehicle, the Cruise AV. The to-be-submitted report is expected to bring more clarity in this respect.

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GM's plan for the driverless Chevy bolts is to use them as autonomous taxis across the country. All other companies combined had five accidents. The application to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seeks to exempt GM from a number of federal standards that can not be met with a driverless vehicle. That's the maximum number the government will now allow for each manufacturer. Under the standards now in place, Hemmersbaugh said, "we can't achieve them without a human driver or without a steering wheel".

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