Amid the flurry of new vehicle launches at this week’s 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, General Motors made the bracing announcement that it had filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Transportation to get road-use approval for its fourth-generation Cruise AV self-driving car, the first production-ready vehicle to have been designed from the start to function as a safe, driverless vehicle.
The petition made to the DoT asks for approval to deploy the car on American roads in 2019.
Based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Cruise AV is 100% electric and fully autonomous; in fact it has no steering wheel, pedals or manual controls. It uses short- and long-range radars, laser sensors and cameras offering a 360-degree view of the environment to guide it.
GM says it wants to eliminate, as soon as possible, the element of human error from road transportation, which is estimated to cause 94% of road accidents, in addition to offering a new mobility solution to people who are not able to operate a vehicle, for example due to age or a handicap.
It’s been talked and written about for so long now, but it’s starting to look like driverless cars are about to become reality sooner rather than later…