General Motors has filed a safety petition with the Department of Transportation for its fourth-generation self-driving car. Named Cruise AV, the car is the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls.
In the petition, the company has asked to adjust 16 motor vehicle standards that would enable it to test vehicles with no steering wheel, pedals, and other driver controls. If the company gets the approval it plans to test 2,500 of its modified Chevrolet Bolts on public roads of the country, according to some reports.
General Motors has plans to launch its own self-driving ride-hailing service by 2019 and thus the elimination of steering wheels and pedals would free up space that can be utilized in ride-hailing cabs. Waymo has also recently announced its plans to launch autonomous ride-hailing taxis. Uber too has struck a deal with Volvo to supply self-driving cars to the company which will be deployed as self-driving taxis. There are other companies as well that are working on driverless taxis but these companies have so far not filed any such petition.
The steering free cars will have an emergency stop button which when pressed would stop the car. The company has released a report that explains how it has developed the car and various technologies employed in the car.