General Motors Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel
By Bill Galluccio
January 12, 2018
General Motors continues to push the line with it's self-driving cars. The latest model of autonomous vehicles the Cruise AV does away with parts of the car that have been instrumental to driving for over one hundred years. The fourth generation of the all-electric vehicles will not have a steering wheel, or pedals.
Instead, the car will be fitted with screens, which CNN reports can be used to communicate with the vehicle. Cruise Automation, the self-driving arm of General Motors, expects to start testing the vehicles in 2019, and plans to roll them out as ride-hailing vehicles.
Before they can roll the cars out, they need get the car cleared by government regulators. The company has requested an exemption on 16 regulations set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to The Verge, the issue isn't that GM wants to ignore the standards, but that many of the standards do not apply to the car. GM President Dan Ammann said the company is trying to "meet that standard in a different kind of way." He cites a regulation that requires all cars to have airbags in the steering wheel:
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.”
The car company has not said where the cars will be deployed or how many of the cars it plans to produce, though government rules currently allow companies to receive safety exemptions for 2,500 vehicles.