General Motors is rumored to be partnering with ride-hailing app Lyft to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars onto US roads, in what would be the largest test of fully autonomous vehicles by any automaker to date.
Once inside, passengers will receive constant updates on the car's progress and status through a series of touchscreens: one in the dash up front and two more behind the headrests for passengers in the rear. GM executives said seven USA states already allow the alterations sought by the automaker.
Where other companies like Lyft, Ford, Uber and Google sibling Waymo are forming partnerships to make the autonomous vehicle a reality, GM is taking the Tesla approach and going it alone.
GM has been testing its self-driving vehicles on the busy streets of San Francisco, where one recently collided with a motorcyclist, who was taken to the hospital, according to Ars Technica.
That's rapid progress and a testament to a critical early design and engineering decision: to pair Cruise's technology, optimized for complicated urban environments such as San Francisco, with GM's ability to develop and manufacture vehicles at a massive scale. While many others are looking at re-engineering vehicles to have spin around chairs to face all the occupants, GM are clearly giving customers a familiar driving experience, just without the wheel and pedals.
GM said in a safety report that it's working with industry groups to "advance the safety of self-driving vehicle technology". In the case of a malfunction, the Cruise AV can automatically slow itself and pull over to the side of the road, contacting GM's support team as it does so. The vehicles will also have OnStar Automatic Crash Response.
Today, seven states - Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, and Nevada - allow for the deployment of vehicles without steering wheels or brake pedals.
Amman said this is the kind of advancement that will have a big impact on the world as the goal is to make transportation more affordable and acceptable and have widespread adoption. The report notes, for example, that current GM self-driving cars have redundant hardware for steering and braking and electrical power.
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