General Motors is mass producing a car without a steering wheels or pedals. The driverless car, called the Cruise AV, has been engineered to transport passengers safely without a human being at the helm, CNET is reporting. It will have a touchscreen, though, but that’s the extent of the driver controls.
According to CNET, The Cruise AV is destined for GM’s version of Lyft. Riders will be able to request these vehicles using an app. The app will also allow you to input your destination and to control the music and the temperature in the car. The car’s AI will adjust its conditions to your preferences so that you’re comfortable from the minute it picks you up to the time it drops you off. It’s a customizable experience that the passenger controls with their phone.
During the ride, touchscreens to the front and on the headrests will continuously update the rider on the progress of the journey. These touchscreens are like the car’s eyes, giving you an idea of what it can see on the road. Its sight is powered by a complicated system of optical, laser and radar scanners, CNET notes. The Cruise AV contains three individual radar systems so that if one of the systems malfunctions, another one kicks in.
The cars have only been tested in San Francisco so far.
GM isn’t the only automaker that’s been jumping on the driverless car wave. As Reuters reported, most of these efforts center around developing driverless ride-share, taxi or delivery services.
Ford Motor company recently announced that it will partner with Postmates this spring to experiment with innovative ways to deliver food and people using the autonomous cars developed by its Argo unit. Uber and Google’s Waymo have also been testing their versions of the driverless car in limited ride-share applications. But GM has beaten them in the race to make an official announcement about their plans to put a production ready, fully autonomous vehicle on the road.
According to the press release published on their website, GM expects these cars to be on the road by 2019. The company also announced that it had filed a safety petition with the Department of Transportation, to allow them to release the vehicle with 16 modifications that don’t comply with current vehicle safety regulations, Reuters reported. The absence of a steering wheel is one of these modifications.