Automaker GM wants to take autonomous cars to a new level. If the Department of Transportation grants GM’s latest Safety Petition, the company will be allowed to deploy its no-steering-wheel, and pedal-less autonomous car next year. Yes, you read that right, an autonomous car without a steering wheel and pedals.
GM has revealed what its level 4 self-driving vehicles will look like, as you can see from the video below. The automaker also announced that it filed a Safety Petition to be able to deploy its completely driverless version of Chevy Bolt called Cruise AV in 2019.
GM described its full self-driving 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.”
From the video above, you can see that the Cruise AV is very different from the self-driving Chevy. Bolts GM is currently testing in California. The Cruise AV has no controls at all, and treats you as a passenger 100 percent of the time, no matter where you sit in the car. The car is capable of opening and shutting doors on its own.
It’s worth mentioning that cars like this don’t meet Federal Motor Vehicle’s safety standards, but automakers are able to apply for exemption; however, the government can only exempt 2,500 vehicles every year. GM President Dan Ammann told The Verge that the company isn’t currently desiring an exemption, rather will find a different way to “meet that standard in a different kind of way.”
“What we can do is put the equivalent of the passenger side airbag on that side as well. So its to meet the standards but meet them in a way that’s different than what’s exactly prescribed, and that’s what the petition seeks to get approval for.”
It’s not just GM that’s making the push for full autonomous cars to hit the road soon. Other companies like Ford, Mercedes and Waymo are all planning to release cars with no steering wheels in the near future.