A sweeping self-driving safety report released Friday details GM's approach to creating a fleet of autonomous electric vehicles the company has named the "Cruise AV," which the company says brings together the manufacturing expertise of the Motor City and the software experience from Silicon Valley. This is for the fourth generation of the automaker's self-driving Cruise AV vehicle.
GM says that, come the deployment of the Cruise AV, it'll be offered on a ride-sharing basis.
As of the market's close on January 11, 2018, General Motors Company's share price was up more than 18% over the past 12 months and has been trading at all-time high levels since October 2017. The request focuses mainly on rules tailored around traditional vehicle design, such the regulation mandating that the airbag in front of the driver's seat needs to be inside a steering wheel.
The all-electric runabout looks like a retrofitted Chevrolet Bolt EV - unsurprising, given the new Bolt EV serves as GM's self-driving platform - with a symmetrical dashboard that swaps the steering wheel and instrument panel for a mirrored layout of the passenger-side dash.
If NHTSA approves the petition, GM will still have to get permission from states to run the steering wheel-free cars.
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The U.S. auto giant plans to test the vehicles and have them on the road for use in ride-sharing apps by 2019, according to a press release. The Cruise AV will also be able to open its own doors for passengers who can't, and will have accommodations built in for visually- or hearing-impaired customers, reports Reuters.
"We think the technology is going to have a huge impact on the world", GM President Dan Ammann said during a conference call.
GM has announced plans to test the cars in Arizona, California and MI. The robo-taxi could earn revenue in the "several hundred thousands of dollars" region, Ammann said, compared to the $30,000 average revenue earned from GM cars sold today. GM released a photo and video renderings of the vehicle January 12.
Assuming the DOT approves GM's safety petition, we could all be driving alongside robots next year. "It doesn't drink and drive, doesn't text and drive, doesn't get upset, doesn't get exhausted, never gets distracted, and doesn't produce any emissions".