Cars Coming Without Steering Wheels and Pedals
Critics, pundits, journalists, and drivers have all dreaded the thought of the day that the machines take total control of our roads. Well, if General Motors Co. gets its way, they will begin selling Chevrolet Bolts in about a year’s time with no steering wheels or pedals in them. Yes, GM is going full autonomous!
GM’s subsidiary Cruise has formally asked federal regulators to approve its fully autonomous vehicle for mass production to be used initially as taxis and in other ride-sharing applications.
“What’s really special about this is if you look back 20 years from now, it’s the first car without a steering wheel and pedals,” said Kyle Vogt, chief executive officer of Cruise Automation, the San Francisco-based unit developing the software for GM’s self-driving cars.1
Invasion of the Fully Autonomous Vehicles
Below are some of the plans, specifications, and controversies surrounding GM’s plans to go fully autonomous with a vehicle:2
- GM’s first fully autonomous, all-electric vehicle will be based on its Chevy Bolt model.
- The new bolt will be Cruise’s 4th generation autonomous vehicle.
- Cruise was acquired by GM in 2016, and they plan to make self-driving vehicles the focus of their future productions.
- GM’s is seeking federal approval for a test run without a driver, but to ensure safety measures plans to use the vehicles only on a fixed route controlled by a computerized mapping system.
- The vehicles will be designed with a redundant safety system, so if a car has problems driving for some reason, it will be programmed to slow down, pull over to the side of the road, and shutdown.
- GM’s autonomous test vehicles have been in a reported 22 accidents in 2017, according to California Department of Motor Vehicle data. However, GM officials say the high number of accidents were due to dense urban conditions. Also, they claim GM’s cars weren’t at fault in any of the accidents.
How Many States Will Have Self-Driving Vehicles?
Most states currently have laws and regulations on the books that require at least one driver, who is at least 16 years of age. So, there will have to be a collective effort by the auto industry to lobby politicians in others states to rewrite laws allowing fully autonomous vehicles.
There are currently 21 states that allow vehicles without drivers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
21 States Allowing Autonomous Vehicles
Lastly, the car industry has an uphill battle on its hands with getting the general public on-board with accepting driverless vehicles on the roads. Apparently, according to a Caravan Public Opinion Poll, a majority of Americans want to see some minimum safety standards instituted for driverless vehicles.
Contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer at Tomazin, Hillyard & Clor, LLP
Have you been injured or had property damaged as a result of a negligent driver? Then contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer at Tomazin, Hillyard & Clor, LLP to help you pursuit the justice and compensation for injuries or lost property owed to you. Call (303) 771-1900 or email us using the contact form on this to set up a free, initial consultation.
1“GM Drops the Steering Wheel and Gives Robot Driver Control” published in Bloomberg Technology, Jan. 2018.
2“GM, Cruise Ready Self-Driving Car with No Steering Wheel or Brake Pedals” published in San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 2018.