GM seeks US approval for car with no steering wheel

January 12, 2018
General Motors hopes to have a car on US roads by 2019, the Cruise AV, which requires no human intervention and has no steering wheel, no pedals and no manual controls

General Motors is seeking approval from US regulators for an autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals, the automaker announced Friday.

GM asked the Department of Transportation to allow it to deploy the Cruise AV that will travel the roads without human intervention.

It describes the vehicle as "the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls."

A video with jazzy music showed off the new model, which is based on the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt but boasts a strikingly spacious windshield devoid of a steering wheel.

The company announced the Cruise AV ahead of the Detroit Auto Show, which kicks off this weekend. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is devising rules on autonomous driving, is scheduled to appear at the annual extravaganza on Sunday.

"We are asking for approval to put these vehicles on the roads in 2019," GM spokeswoman Stephanie Rice said.

"We have not yet shared detailed on locations, but we currently test our driverless cars in downtown San Francisco, Phoenix, and metro Detroit, and we plan to expand to New York City this year."

The application to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seeks to exempt GM from a number of federal standards that cannot be met with a driverless car. For example, the new model will have an alternative location for an airbag that would normally be in the steering wheel, Rice said.

GM executives have said they planned to introduce a large-scale fleet of self-driving taxis by 2019, a timeframe some analysts consider ambitious.

"If we continue on our current rate of change, we will be ready to deploy this technology in large scale in the most complex environments in 2019," GM President Dan Ammann said during an investor call in November.

Explore further: GM begins autonomous car tests in Scottsdale, Arizona

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17 comments

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Nik_2213
3 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2018
{ Cough... } Don't forget the Big Red Button marked 'Emergency Stop'.
Relying on a cranky App would be so silly...
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2018
remember the 'google glass' ?
mackita
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2018
Who is supposed to be responsible for damages made by these cars?
TrollBane
5 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2018
"Who is supposed to be responsible for damages made by these cars?" Ideally antigoracle, but you can't have everything in this world...
ddaye
3 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2018
Nothing could possibly go worng.
betterexists
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2018
Rather, START with TEACHING Pets to use Keyboard....MADE FOR THEM to feed themselves !
To Get Water, To Get Pork, To Get Beef, To Get This...To Get That...of course, ONLY IF They finish what is provided...of course, chained during the time !
Images on A Display on the Wall should guide them to use the forgotten keys !
dogbert
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2018
It describes the vehicle as "the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls."


How comforting it must be to the occupants of such a vehicle to be locked in a box which careens down the road with no human accessible controls whatsoever.
mackita
3 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2018
@Dogbert: We could also save money for car windows after then. Out of sight, out of mind.
dogbert
not rated yet Jan 13, 2018
mackita,
That would probably cause many people to be ill with vertigo. GM would probably not want to have to hose out the cars after trips to remove vomitus.
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Jan 13, 2018
It describes the vehicle as "the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls."


How comforting it must be to the occupants of such a vehicle to be locked in a box which careens down the road with no human accessible controls whatsoever.

Almost like an elevator, I guess...? Or an aisle seat in standard class on an airplane...?
dogbert
not rated yet Jan 14, 2018
Whydening Gyre,
How comforting it must be to the occupants of such a vehicle to be locked in a box which careens down the road with no human accessible controls whatsoever.


Almost like an elevator, I guess...?


Because an elevator has no human accessible controls? Really?

Or an aisle seat in standard class on an airplane...?


Because a commercial airline is not under the control of at least two highly competent licensed pilots at all times? Really?

I don't offhand know of anything analogous to being locked in a box careening down the highway without human control and with no ability to operate said box. I can imagine many situations equally dangerous, but few where helplessness is enforced by design.

KBK
not rated yet Jan 14, 2018
Won't be long before and episode of some police procedural TV show has an episode on murder via autonomous vehicle. I know it has already been done, yes, but not quite by a proper 'car' (autonomous people mover).

In other psychological news, what happens to the human mind, as a cultural/societal group... when we all essentially....take the bus?

For the first time ever, we, as a whole human system... cease moving under our own power and own direction.
KBK
not rated yet Jan 14, 2018
As an opener it means that the inane things in life like soap operas and cooking shows take on more importance.

It opens up more visas for the charged and powerful minds...and more inanity and slothfulness for the limited of mental resource. A subtle but marked societal split that exists now may end up appearing more obvious. The doers vs the sleepers.

If you thought that asshat manipulators were stealing tons of energy from the sleepers/eaters before and in the now.... well, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. Pop star mayhem and all associated connection to such psychology will be truly unleashed.
Shakescene21
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2018
When GM bought Cruise Automation, I was concerned that GM would quietly bury the Cruise technology. I am elated that GM has instead given Cruise the hefty resources it needs to make a major advance.

It's remarkable that a stodgy old-line company like GM would take the risk of being the first company to deploy machine-driven cars. There are bound to be a few early glitches and hundreds of lawyers are hoping to become rich from these glitches. But this technology promises enormous benefits to humanity and it appears ready for the first real-world experiments. It's good that this risky step is being taken by a company with some of the best technology and the deepest pockets.
gkam
1 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2018
I would venture to say autonomous vehicles will be the end of the ICE as the mainstay of transportation. No starting, no warmup, no stalling, no fumes.

The EVs will just park themselves over the induction chargers when need be.
dogbert
not rated yet Jan 16, 2018
gkam,
I would venture to say autonomous vehicles will be the end of the ICE as the mainstay of transportation. No starting, no warmup, no stalling, no fumes.


Why do people so frequently confuse autonomous vehicles with electric vehicles? Many prototype autonomous vehicles run on fossil fuels.
HenryE
not rated yet Jan 16, 2018
So the company that KNOWINGLY kept on using parts that caused a lot of people to die, now wants us to trust them to make a vehicle that you have no way to control when it has a problem?

When these things have electronic problems that result in autonomous control failure, how many people will die because they won't be able to safely stop/steer the vehicle?

Thanks, but no thanks.

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