GM and Cruise reveal their fourth-generation, steering wheel-free Cruise AV

GM and Cruise reveal their fourth-generation, steering wheel-free Cruise AV

GM and Cruise reveal their fourth-generation, steering wheel-free Cruise AV

General Motors says it is making the first mass-production autonomous auto without a steering wheel or pedals.

Called the Cruise AV (Autonomous Vehicle), the auto is based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV and will hit the road as early as 2019, assuming GM receives regulatory approval. It will have other accommodations for hearing and visually impaired customers.

This will be one of the first self-driving vehicles in commercial passenger service and among the first to do away with manual controls for steering, brakes and throttle.

As noted from the interior photo, the Cruise AV is clearly based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Cruise wouldn't say where it will eventually deploy the new vehicles or how soon the public will be able to ride in them.

GM is part of a growing throng of vehicle manufacturers, technology companies and tech startups seeking to develop so-called robo-taxis over the next three years in North America, Europe and Asia.

The automaker has developed a self-driving safety report and put it on its website for the public to view.

General Motors announced Friday morning, January 12 that it has asked the government for permission to put mass-produced, autonomous cars on the road without a steering wheel or any pedals by next year.

GM also must meet all state laws and is working to change laws where necessary.

If NHTSA approves the petition, GM will still have to get permission from states to run the steering wheel-free cars. In other states - including those that stipulate a vehicle must have a licensed human driver - GM will work with regulators to change or get a waiver from existing rules.

GM's experiment will be a significant step forward for self-driving cars.

Those vehicles have been modified with sensors, cameras and radar equipment so the minivans can operate without a driver.

GM argues Waymo's tests are mostly in the greater Phoenix area, where traffic situations are less complex than what it's encountered in San Francisco.

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