General Motors says it is ready to mass-produce a self-driving car that has no steering wheel, pedals or any other manual controls.
The car company said Friday that it has filed a petition with the Department of Transportation for the fourth generation Cruise AV to hit the streets in 2019.
GM maintains that the car “will comply with federal safety laws;” the petition is asking for a waiver for laws that it can not meet “because they are human-driver-based-requirements.”
For example: “A car without a steering wheel can not have a wheel steering wheel airbag,” as GM President Dan Ammann told The Verge .
With no steering wheel or pedals, the car’s dashboard appears jarringly symmetrical in model photos released by the company. The vehicle maintains the conventional design of two rows of forward-facing seats.
Some critics, such as Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky, have suggested GM should have been more experimental : “There is no reason to keep these rigid interior design rules when you’re not required (or able) to drive! … There should be at least one option to swivel the front seats around, or allow the seats to all face Inwardly. ”
It will be possible for humans to stop the car – GM says it’s an emergency.
The cars are undergoing testing on the roads of San Francisco and the Phoenix suburbs. GM says San Francisco provides rigorous challenges to the vehicles – for example, in the Northern California city.
As NPR’s Sonari Glinton reported this week , along with Tesla, many others are rolling out new electric and driverless models:
“Mercedes-Benz will make an electric or hybrid version of all its cars by 2022, and they’re not alone.” Ford has plans for an electric F-150 truck and an electric Mustang. will launch 10 electric or hybrid cars in the country by 2020. And [Mercedes Benz ‘Christoph] from Hugo says the coolness of self-driving cars will help convince the public that the coming EVs will be worthwhile. ”
Waymo, a company of the United States, has also “made a limited number of autonomous vehicles and steering wheels,” according to The Associated Press. That company has started a program for people to ride in Phoenix.
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