GM seeks testing of self-driving auto with no wheel or pedals

General Motors aims to have vehicles without steering wheels on roads in the US next year

As it stands one of the rules required for self-driving cars to be tested is that it needs to have a steering wheel and controls and a human behind the wheel to takeover in case anything happens.

If the Department of Transportation grants GM's latest Safety Petition, the automaker will be able to deploy its no-steering-wheel, pedal-less autonomous vehicle next year.

In GM's petition to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the company is asking for standard exceptions that would allow them to operate 2,600 Cruises on public roads in 2019, Tech Crunch said.

GM, which also tests in Phoenix, said in a safety report slated to be released Friday that for every 1,000 miles of autonomous driving, its vehicle needed to make 1,462 left turns in San Francisco, compared with 919 in the Phoenix suburbs. The vehicle will be named the "Cruise AV" and is said to be on the streets by 2019.

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GM declined to say where it would offer robot taxi service and how many cars might be involved. For example, the new model will have an alternative location for an airbag that would normally be in the steering wheel, Rice said.

GM notes that the Cruise AV will be able to operate without a steering wheel, pedals or any other form of manual input.

General Motors (GM) has revealed that it's on track to put its first self-driving auto on roads in 2019. The company is building its self-driving vehicles at its assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan. That enables the automaker to "safely take the next step - elimination of the steering wheel, pedals and other manual controls".

Specifically, the vehicle contains 21 radar sensors, 16 cameras, and no fewer than five lidar units, and runs on self-driving software developed by Cruise and GM.

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The self-driving vehicles are meant to drive only in geo-fenced boundaries on roads where a high-definition map data was created. The company has said the accidents weren't caused by any of the GM cars.

Vogt added that the new Chevy has redundant systems built in to back up the driving systems.

■Seat belts must be buckled and doors closed before the cars start to move. It developed the vehicle in San Francisco. In February 2017, the automaker said it will invest $1 billion during the next five years in Argo AI to develop a virtual driver system for Ford's autonomous vehicles.

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