The petition requested federal officials to allow these vehicles to operate on American roads without them having to meet 16 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards that are now in place to cover vehicles that have human drivers, but are not necessarily applicable for driverless vehicles.
GM declared it filed a safety petition with the Department of Transportation for a self-driving vehicle, in a statement on its website Friday.
That's the big takeaway from first peak inside General Motors new autonomous auto, which lacks the steering wheel, pedals, manual controls and human drivers that have come to define the experience of riding inside an automobile for more than a century. Cruise Automation is developing the software for GM's self-driving cars. The dashboard looks identical to the Bolt EV sans steering wheel and pedal.
GM's submission explains how it will provide airbag protection for all Cruise AV occupants in the absence of a steering wheel.
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. For instance, cars now are required to have an air bag in the steering wheel.
And the vehicle doesn't just drive itself, if you forget to close the door behind you it'll do that itself without complaint before heading off to pick up another fare.More news: UK construction sector downbeat despite house build rise
The company said passengers can get the vehicle moving by communicating with several interior screens.
"Imagine the peace of mind knowing that whatever our age, our stage of life or our physical capabilities we have the freedom to go wherever we want to go", GM says in a statement.
It's worth mentioning that cars like this don't meet Federal Motor Vehicle's safety standards, but automakers are able to apply for exemption; however, the government can only exempt 2,500 vehicles every year. GM asked the Department of Transportation to allow it to deploy the Cruise AV that will travel the roads without human intervention.
In a 33-page report on the effort, GM noted extensive development of the vehicle in San Francisco and Phoenix, promising it had "evaluated potential failure modes for all systems" and addressed them to ensure safety and reliability.