The automaker has petitioned the federal government for approval to adjust 16 motor vehicle standards so it can test cars that have no steering wheel, pedals and other driver controls. Bolts GM is now testing in California. The steering wheel and pedals will be gone, giving total control to the machine.
It's not just GM that's making the push for full autonomous cars to hit the road soon.
That's the big takeaway from first peak inside General Motors new autonomous vehicle, which lacks the steering wheel, pedals, manual controls and human drivers that have come to define the experience of riding inside an automobile for more than a century.
GM will run the cars in a test batch for a ride-sharing program starting in 2019, and they won't be without a safety net.
GM has announced plans to test the cars in Arizona, California and MI.
Vogt said the self-driving Bolt has redundant systems built in to back up the driving systems. The vehicle will slow down, pull over at the roadside and stop if a problem occurs while it is in use. The automaker and companies including Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo unit and startup Zoox Inc. have demonstrated cars that can drive with so-called Level 4 autonomy.
Other believe that a vehicle without human control is a "bad idea".
"If you're testing Level 4 technology with a driver, you're not really testing it at level 4", he said in an interview at the CES technology show in Las Vegas this week.
Autonomous cars are the future and there's no doubting that.
Instead of a steering wheel, the dashboard has a solitary touchscreen at the center that is surrounded by mostly blank surfaces. More recently, it dispensed with safety drivers, though the vans still has steering wheels.
Cruise, which is based in San Francisco, expects to test the modified Chevy Bolt next year.
The autonomous cars now being tested by major companies still have manual controls.
The automaker's autonomous auto tests were involved in 22 accidents in California in 2017, according to Bloomberg News, which cited the California Department of Motor Vehicles. All other companies combined had five accidents.
"We think the technology is going to have a huge impact on the world", GM President Dan Ammann said during a conference call. The company on Friday filed a safety petition with the US Department of Transportation for its fourth-generation self-driving Cruise AV.
One of the standards GM is asking to be waived is the requirement for vehicles to have airbags in their steering wheels, which wouldn't of course be possible for vehicles that don't have a steering wheel in the first place.
General Motors submitted a federal safety proposal on Thursday to put its first self-driving vehicle on the road by 2019. The permissions and alterations will have to be made in each of the individual U.S. states. GM executives said seven USA states already allow the alterations sought by the carmaker.
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