General Motors Planning Autonomous Vehicles Sans Controls

Autonomous vehicles are not an entirely new concept. Vehicle manufacturers have been working on designs for years. However, General Motors has unveiled plans to mass-produce autonomous vehicles that lack controls such as steering wheels and pedals by 2019. The car will be the company’s fourth generation of driverless electric Chevy Bolts.

The company has plans to use its driverless vehicles as the next generation of ride-hailing vehicles in highly populated cities. This will see the electric Cruise AV operating within a pre-determined, well-mapped geo-fenced area. A recent report revealed GM’s plans for the ride-hailing service, which will allow users to summon the vehicles via an app similar to other services such as Uber and Lyft.

 

 

Unlike the others, however, GM’s app will also set climate controls and audio systems to the user’s preferences. The vehicles also include features such as infotainment screens, call center communications that allow users to report issues, and buttons that will stop the vehicle and allow users to exit in the event of an emergency. The vehicle doors will also self-close in the event that users forget to do so themselves. Waymo is preparing to launch its own automated ride-hailing minivans, although they contain traditional controls.

GM President Dan Amman stated, “It’s a pretty exciting moment in the history of the path to wide scale deployment and having the first production car with no driver controls, and it’s an interesting thing to share with everybody.”

General Motors is hoping to outmaneuver the competition by rolling out fully autonomous vehicles in a short timeframe that rivals Ford’s 2021 estimation. Kyle Vogt, chief executive of GM’s Cruise Automation, referred to the creation of a product-ready vehicle with no manual controls as a “major milestone. However, he stated that the car was not expected to be on public roads, even for testing, before 2019, in part due to safety regulations.

 

General Motors has submitted a petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, requesting permission to bypass certain federal safety standards. The company claims that it is not seeking exemption from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards but rather a way to “meet that standard in a different kind of way,” according to Amman.

One of the requirements the company is hoping to bypass is that of a steering wheel airbag. While safety is a priority, the company plans to meet requirements in innovative new ways that allow for continued development of the vehicle with its unique designs. Rather than employing a steering wheel airbag, the company plans to replace it with the equivalent of the passenger side airbag. “So, it’s to meet the standards but meet them in a way that’s different than what’s exactly prescribed.”

If the vehicle is approved, it will be the first of its kind to hit the road. The company is also testing versions of the car with controls in San Francisco and Phoenix. These vehicles feature sensors on the roof that will be engineered to pass crash tests with the rest of the vehicle. Additionally, GM’s autonomous vehicles contain two data recorders to store and protect information in the event of a crash. The data includes information from the sensors, vehicle actions, and any malfunctions that occur.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

MSN

Fox News

Financial Times

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • The New ispace Lunar Lander — Commercial space travel to the far side of the moon
  • Manufacturing output grew again in August
  • Honda expansion a win for Ontario's auto sector
  • Aerospace industry trade war? $2 billion at stake as Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister reviews Boeing sole sourcing
  • New super batteries could change electric vehicle industry
  • Trade deficit increased in May on weaker exports
  • Volkswagen hit with $14.7 billion in fines, compensation over emissions scandal
  • Ontario College of Trades report recommendations accepted by minister
  • Saudis will no longer provide "insurance policy" for high-cost oil producers
  • Fuel cell market will double in five years: report
  • Manufacturers group says government policies reflect its input
  • Space X Falcon Heavy launch live! 'Great rocket launch or the best fireworks display,' says Elon Musk. Watch the launch at 3pm today live on EDI Weekly
  • Ontario increases incentives for EV buyers
  • Forest vertical cities in China: first forest city under construction covered in 1 million plants; produce 900 tons oxygen daily
  • SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Ripped Hole in Ionosphere During 2017 Launch
  • New CEO chosen to take over Waterfront Toronto
  • New national aerospace consortium to foster leadership in technology
  • Successful SpaceX human flight transport launch test of Dragon crew capsule, Elon Musk elated but "emotionally exhausted"
  • Toyota celebrating 50 years in Canada with Special Edition Corolla S
  • FirstEnergy of Calgary to host ninth London Global Energy Conference
Scroll to Top