General Motors has filed a Safety Petition in hopes of being able to build an autonomous version of its Chevy Bolt, referred to as the Cruise AV, in 2019. As Engadget points out, the ride would be “the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls.”
The Cruise AV, with no controls, allows you to travel as a passenger, as the car is even capable of opening and shutting the doors on its own. Such a driverless automobile does not meet the Federal Motor Vehicle’s safety requirements, though, and only 2,500 such vehicles can be approved for exemption each year. However, GM’s president Dan Ammann has disclosed that his company is not looking to become exempt. They are instead attempting 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,” he says. “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.”
Such changes will have to be implemented in order for automakers, not just limited to GM, to be able to put fully autonomous cars on the road.
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In related news, Uber’s self-piloting air taxi is finally in the works.