General Motors has revealed the Cruise AV, the first production-ready vehicle to lack two critical features: a steering wheel and pedals. The reveal is part of a safety petition the company has filed with the Department of Transportation.
GM and subsidiary Cruise Automation say their fourth-generation autonomous vehicle is ready for testing without a driver, deeming the antiquated steering wheel and pedals useless. Currently all autonomous vehicle rules require a human to be behind the wheel during testing on public roads. GM’s petition with DOT is intended to gain a waiver or exemption for their wheel-less vehicle.
As noted from the interior photo, the Cruise AV is clearly based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV. This comes as little surprise given the company has been utilizing specialized Bolt EV’s for autonomous testing for some time now.
GM isn’t saying much in terms of when variations of the Cruise AV will hit the road or if and when it will be available for public rides. The company recently confirmed plans to roll out a ride-hailing service using fully autonomous vehicles by 2019. It’s unclear if Cruise AV will be the exact vehicle leveraged for the service.