It is planning to launch a fleet of these fully autonomous vehicles on roads in 2019. Eventually, it should serve in ride-hailing services in cities across the U.S. Some - like the cars from Waymo, the self-driving division of Google parent Alphabet Inc. - are moving to driverless variants. What makes this news a bit more special is that GM's auto has completely done away with the steering wheel, pedals, and driver controls.
The vehicle anticipated to go into production is actually the fourth generation of the self-driving Bolt EV, following the unveiling of the third generation just last October.
The carmaker has approached the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with sixteen changes to the existing safety rules to enable production of the autonomous vehicle. For instance, cars now are required to have an air bag in the steering wheel. "What we can do is put the equivalent of the passenger side airbag on that side as well".
Speaking of accidents, GM has not one, but two data recorders in each of its autonomous vehicles to store and protect information in the event of a crash. That's the maximum number the government will now allow for each manufacturer.More news: Trump Boasts of 'Very Good Relationship' With North Korean Leader
The Cruise AV will be able to operate in hands-free mode only in premapped urban areas. For self-driving cars, these are "unintentional but necessary" barriers, he said, and the company is pushing for a change in the laws. GM is among them, having received approval from NY state officials, as well as a public demonstration of the Cruise AV back on November 2017.
Self-driving vehicles are allowed to be tested in seven states - Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Colorado and Nevada. Zoox and Waymo have also tested Level 4 cars, but with a backup driver at the helm in case of an emergency.
General Motors Co.'s fourth-generation autonomous vehicle is rather different than the previous three iterations: It has no steering wheel or pedals.
Next year, General Motors Co. will no longer need an engineer in the front seat babysitting the robot brain that controls its self-driving Chevrolet Bolt.