GM Cruise AV — no pedals, no steering wheel
... zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion
The GM Cruise AV is set to be the first production-ready car that removes all manual driving controls, and that includes the pedals and steering wheel.
The Cruise AV is an electric car, built atop the Bolt EV, but designed from the ground up to be a connected and autonomous ride-sharing vehicle.
The is the fourth-generation GM self-driving car, and in the current build the Cruise AV includes five LiDARs, 16 cameras, and 21 radars to help it operate and navigate.
GM is currently testing the cars in San Francisco, California, and Phoenix, Arizona, and has applied to the US Department of Transport to test the Cruise AV on a fixed route on public roads in San Francisco in 2019.
Customers will use a mobile app to request a ride, and ahead of time have the cabin temperature, radio station, and any special requirements set up and ready when the car arrives at the designated location.
Alongside of course the desire to remain a market force in the new mobility world, GM has noble goals for its connected and autonomous vehicle program:
“General Motors’ mission is to bring our vision of a world of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion to life. Safely developing and deploying electric self-driving vehicles at scale will dramatically change our world.”
GM’s focus on testing the Cruise AV has been in urban environments. That’s no real surprise, given that it will be the primary driving experience and market for these vehicles, but the choice is more than justified based on the data GM is collecting.
“Our vehicles that are driving in San Francisco are seeing more in one minute than the vehicles in Phoenix see in one hour. So that gives you a sense for the level of complexity that we see in a complex urban environment. And that’s why we’re so focused on texting in that kind of environment, because we encounter more, and our vehicles will learn more quickly, and that puts us in a much better position to be ready to launch in those kind of environments in the 2019 timeframe,” said Daniel Amman, GM President.
In its 2018 Self-Driving Safety Report GM says of the Cruise AV, “We have designed and built a self-driving car to safely operate among aggressive drivers, jaywalkers, bicyclists, delivery trucks, construction, unprotected left turns, 4-way stop signs and countless other factors that arise when driving in the city.”
What’s next for the Cruise AV?
The testing will continue in San Francisco and Phoenix. GM has petitioned the Department of Transportation for a Safety Permission for the trials on public roads in San Francisco. After that, it will have to work with individual states to test and deploy the vehicles elsewhere.