General Motors has just announced plans to launch its own public ride-hailing services with self-driving vehicles that don't have any manual controls such as steering wheels and pedals at all, and it intends them to begin operating as soon as 2019. The vehicles will travel on a fixed route controlled by their mapping system, and the Detroit-based automaker is applying for federal permission to run the test cars without a driver.
General Motors (GM) announced Friday that it plans to put a truly self-driving auto - with no steering wheels, pedals and manual controls, or even the usual backup driver in the front seat - on the road in 2019.
The Cruise AV is powered by the fourth generation of GM's self-driving technologies, and relies on 21 radars, 16 cameras, and five lidars, which are essentially radars that use light instead of radio waves. The fruit of GM's $1 billion acquisition of Cruise Automotive back in March of 2016, the Cruise AV is a properly driverless vehicle.
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GM declined to say where it would offer robot taxi service and how many cars might be involved.
GM notes that the Cruise AV will be able to operate without a steering wheel, pedals or any other form of manual input. Reuters cited company executives as saying that seven states have already accepted the automaker's suggestions.
U.S. auto giant General Motors has revealed its new Cruise AV, which it says is the first production-ready fully-autonomous vehicle.
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The new self-driving vehicles are built at GM's assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan State, on the Chevrolet Bolt EV (electric vehicle) platform.
GM has openly stated that this car's main objective is for ride-sharing.
Dan Ammann, GM's president, explained in a statement, "What we can do is put the equivalent of the passenger side airbag on that side as well... to meet the standards". However, their approach was generally to offer autonomous driving as a supplementary feature for conventional driver-centric vehicles.
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The automaker added that it will work with regulators to develop new safety standards and petition for "permission to meet the safety objective of a standard through alternative means". Moreover, the company divulged that it has petitioned the Department of Transportation to adjust certain safety laws so to accommodate the model's unusual characteristics.