GM has created a new driverless car that takes automation to a whole new level by removing the pedals and steering wheel.
Are you ready to ride in a car that doesn’t even allow you to drive it yourself? That’s the world GM is envisioning with their latest creation, the Cruise AV, unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show.
The most striking feature of the car is what it lacks: there’s no steering wheel, foot pedals, or anything that would otherwise allow the passenger to drive the car themselves. Everything outside of the cabin climate control is completely automated and at the mercy of the car’s autopilot systems.
If that’s not enough to scare the bejeezus out of you, GM says that this car is ready to go into full production just as soon as the Department of Transportation gives them the final green light.
“GM’s integrated development of hardware and software, and testing in one of the most complex environments in the world, allows for the company to safely eliminate the steering wheel, pedals, and manual controls from the new Cruise AV,” the century-old company said in a statement.
GM has petitioned the Department to allow 2500 of these driverless cars to hit the roads by 2019. “Safety is the (Transportation) department’s top priority. The department will review this petition and give it careful consideration,” the agency responded in a statement.
The Detroit-based company that owns such iconic brands as Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac made no secret about the fact it views automation as the future of automobiles. In 2016, GM invested $500 million in tech startup Lyft and announced it would be creating self-driving cars.
Shortly after that announce Dan Ammann, GM president, said: “We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless, and autonomous. With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly.”
Since then, GM has invested heavily in automation, buying up Silicon-Valley startups Strobe and Cruise Automation to create a nascent fleet of driverless cars.
GM may be first in line, but they have stiff competition behind them. Both Ford and Google are building driverless cars of their own, both envisioning the future filled with passengers as opposed to drivers.
Are you ready to hand in your keys to let a robot drive you around?