General Motors to launch autonomous cars next year
Giant car manufacturer, General Motors has announced plans to mass-produce self-driving cars by 2019.
They are planning to release the fourth generation of its driverless, all-electric car, the Chevy Bolt.
The latest self-driving car from GM will not feature traditional controls like steering wheels or pedals.
The new Bolt EV is currently being tested on the public roads of San Francisco, California and Phoenix, Arizona.
When they are finally released from GM’s manufacturing plant in Michigan, they will be positioned as ride-hailing vehicles in a number of cities. GM President, Dan Ammann said:
“It’s a pretty exciting moment in the history of the path to wide-scale [autonomous vehicle] deployment and having the first production car with no driver controls,”
Other large companies have also announced their plans to deploy autonomous vehicles and General Motors are aiming to stand out and possibly get ahead of the crowd by developing a vehicle without a steering wheel.
Not having a steering wheel has its challenges compared to regular cars as it cannot have a steering wheel airbag. With regard to this, Ammann said:
“What we can do is put the equivalent of the passenger side airbag on that side as well. So its to meet the standards but meet them in a way that’s different than what’s exactly prescribed, and that’s what the petition seeks to get approval for”
GM has already submitted a safety report to the US Department of Transportation.
The report details the safety system, post-crash behaviour, local laws and human-machine interface to name a few. Ammann went on to say:
“We believe this technology will change the world. And we’re doing everything we can to get it out there at scale as fast as we can”
Meanwhile, Korean automotive manufacturer, Hyundai similarly announced on January 5, 2018 their plans to release self-driving cars. However, Hyundai plans to deploy their self-driving vehicles, that will not require human input in most conditions, by 2020.
Hyundai plans to market their own self-driving car for individual sales instead of like GM, for ride-hailing services such as self-driving taxis.
The company also plans to show off some of its autonomous driving cars during the Winter Olympics Game in February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.