GM planning to build self-driving cars with no steering or pedals
The car industry is going gaga over the development of autonomous vehicles with various manufacturers already starting advanced phases of testing. Torc Robotics entered the Consumer Electronics Show in style with their self-driving car. Now there is another major car-making giant, GM Motors which has planned to initiate mass-production of self-driving autonomous vehicles without conventional controls like the steering wheel, and pedals by 2019.
This sounds like a bold statement from one of the biggest carmakers in the United States and is bound to work up the carmaking industry as the annual Detroit Auto Show starts off next week.
According to a report by the Wired, GM will go vertical integration instead of webs of partnerships like Waymo and Uber. GM has already spent reportedly $400 million on Cruise Automation, a San Francisco based startup, to take charge as a part of its ongoing efforts to develop level-4,5 autonomous vehicles.
In a report by The Verge, GM President Dan Ammann stated "It's a pretty exciting moment in the history of the path to wide-scale [autonomous vehicle] deployment and having the first production car with no driver controls. And it's an interesting thing to share with everybody."
The car in question will be the fourth generation, all-electric Chevrolet Bolts, which are currently undergoing autonomous-capability tests on the public roads of San Francisco and Phoenix.
GM also provided with a preview of how their futuristic cars will look on the inside, and it does look impressive.
GM has already submitted a petition for permission to deploy a car which does not conform to all federal safety standards, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
GM is proposing to "meet that standard in a different kind of way," Ammann stated. "A car without a steering wheel can't have a steering wheel airbag," he said. "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."Apart from this, GM also plans to roll out at least 20 new electric cars
by 2023, which will bring GM in a position to shift the car making industry towards battery-powered driving a mainstream subject.