General Motors has a vehicle without a steering wheel on the way

Saul Bowman
January 14, 2018

Self-driving technology "is only going to have a big impact if we can deploy it at large scale", GM's chief financial officer, Dan Ammann, said in an interview with New York Times.

And, GM said, it has filed a safety petition with the Department of Transportation seeking permission to put the fourth generation of Cruise AV into production next year. For example, new cars must have an airbag in the steering wheel - but in this vehicle there will be no steering wheel.

About 50 test vehicles from that generation have been undergoing tests in a geographically restricted area of downtown San Francisco.

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.

M - GM has asked regulators for an exemption to existing safety rules so it can deploy self-driving cars without steering wheels or pedals.

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

To realize this vision, GM says it has "engineered safety into the Cruise AV in every step of design, development, manufacturing, testing and validation". The move is a bold one, however, since all self-driving cars to date have had the safety features that enable the driver to take back control should an incident arise. Self-driving cars operate by GM's Cruise division have already been involved in some fender benders, usually involving other road users crashing into them. Earlier in the fall, the federal government had requested more safety details from the self-driving auto industry.

News about driverless or automated cars is pretty routine now, even from companies that don't even make cars.

Late previous year, Waymo started an autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix using a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

The automaker on Friday revealed images of an autonomous vehicle it's hoping to put into production by 2019 and is petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for permission to do so.

More from GM: What's new and good with the 2018 GMC Terrain? They simply want to "meet that standard in a different kind of way". That's the maximum number the government will now allow for each manufacturer.

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