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article imageGM and Cruise reveal 4th generation steering-wheel free Cruise AV

By Karen Graham     Jan 12, 2018 in Technology
On Friday, GM unveiled the first image of its upcoming autonomous fourth-generation Bolt EV-based vehicle – the “first without a steering wheel or pedal.” They are now seeking U.S. government approval for the fully autonomous vehicle.
The Cruise AV is a rebranded version of GM’s Chevrolet Bolt EV, and the fourth-generation Cruise Autonomous Vehicle (AV), which comes just a few short months after GM first revealed its third-generation vehicle.
GM has also filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), asking permission to deploy the vehicle as soon as next year so the Cruise AV can enter the company's ride-sharing fleet.
GM’s Dan Ammann talked about the fourth generation car during a press conference today, saying it is "production-ready." And what GM and Cruise have developed is really amazing. Not only will this vehicle automatically open its door for a passenger who is disabled, but it also has other accommodations for hearing and visually impaired customers.
The Cruise AV is designed to operate safely on its own  with no driver  steering wheel  pedals or ot...
The Cruise AV is designed to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or other manual controls when it goes on the road in 2019.
General Motors
And let's be very clear - The vehicle has no steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator pedal. The old phrase, "putting the pedal to the metal" will not apply. GM is already using part of their fleet to carry Cruise employees “anywhere in San Francisco using their app.”
Not the first car without a steering wheel or pedal
While GM is claiming the Cruise AV is the first car without a steering wheel or pedal, in all fairness, Electrek points out that "Google has demonstrated pedal-less, steering wheel-less autonomous vehicles first as part of its Google X labs in 2014 and now part of its Waymo spinoff."
Interestingly, in 2015, Google added back steering wheels to its own vehicles and *steered* the organization to them as add-ons to existing vehicles, especially Lexus crossovers and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids.
Google self-driving car project:  Prototype vehicle
Google self-driving car project: Prototype vehicle
Waymo
GM and Cruise have also released a safety report, detailing the measures they have put in place to keep the vehicle safe on the streets. These include a range of sometimes, redundant systems, like rear seat airbags and much, much more.
While GM would not elaborate any further on the deployment plans for the Cruise AV, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said we won't likely be seeing the new vehicle on the streets before 2019. GM’s prototype self-driving vehicles have been developed in San Francisco by Cruise Automation, the onetime startup that GM acquired in March 2016 for a reported $1 billion.
“You can safely assume that the fourth generation won’t be the last generation,” Ammann added.
More about Cruise AV, General motors, fully autonomous, ridesharing fleet, revenue potential
 
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