The Driverless Chevy Bolt From GM Won't Let You Drive at All

The Driverless Chevy Bolt From GM Won't Let You Drive at All

As it stands one of the rules required for self-driving cars to be tested is that it needs to have a steering wheel and controls and a human behind the wheel to takeover in case anything happens.

GM said it's filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) to test the cars.

Above: GM: Fourth generation vehicle, the Cruise AV.

GM says that, come the deployment of the Cruise AV, it'll be offered on a ride-sharing basis.

Amman said this is the kind of advancement that will have a big impact on the world as the goal is to make transportation more affordable and acceptable and have widespread adoption. Now only seven states-Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, and Nevada-allow for testing vehicles without steering wheels or pedals. The dashboard looks identical to the Bolt EV sans steering wheel and pedal. Seven states have already approved the changes requested to allow testing of the Cruise AV.

GM sees self-driving fleets of vehicles as a high-growth opportunity, and new paths for revenue are especially key to automakers as auto sales have started to slow down in the US after several years of increases.

Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it will partner with delivery service Postmates Inc as the automaker starts testing ways to transport people, food and packages this spring in its self-driving cars, which are being developed by Ford's Argo unit. The Cruise AV is even able to close its own doors, should passengers leaving the vehicle not shut them properly.

GM will run the cars in a test batch for a ride-sharing program starting in 2019, and they won't be without a safety net.

"When you see this image for the first time it's quite striking", said Dan Ammann, president of GM.

That gets thorny. GM says it's complied with the government's latest automated driving guidelines, but the legalities of control-free cars are complex.

GM sees the announcement Friday as a significant step toward the widespread adoption of self-driving vehicle technology.

The automaker added that it will work with regulators to develop new safety standards and petition for "permission to meet the safety goal of a standard through alternative means". The work started by retrofitting vehicles with lidar, sensors, and other equipment to read the surroundings and make drive decisions but the end goal was always a bespoke self-driving auto.