CAPE TOWN - Multinational motor vehicle giant, General Motors announced plans to mass-produce self-driving cars by 2019.
Set to be the fourth generation of its driverless, all-electric Chevy Bolts, the self-driving car will not feature traditional controls like steering wheels or pedals.
The new addition is currently being tested on the public roads of San Francisco and Phoenix.
When they finally debut from GM’s manufacturing plant in Michigan, they will be positioned as ride-hailing vehicles in a number of cities.
“It’s a pretty exciting moment in the history of the path to wide scale [autonomous vehicle] deployment and having the first production car with no driver controls,” said GM President, Dan Ammann.
This announcement comes at the end of the CES where large companies announced their plans to deploy autonomous vehicles and also comes right before the Detroit Auto Show.
As the vehicle will not have a steering wheel, it cannot have a steering wheel airbag.
“What we can do is put the equivalent of the passenger side airbag on that side as well. So its to meet the standards but meet them in a way that’s different than what’s exactly prescribed, and that’s what the petition seeks to get approval for”, said Ammann.
GM has already submitted a safety report to the US Department of Transportation.
The report details the safety system, post-crash behaviour, local laws and human machine interface to name a few.
“We believe this technology will change the world. And we’re doing everything we can to get it out there at scale as fast as we can”, concluded Ammann.
Hyundai said it and Aurora will introduce autonomous cars that will not require human input in most conditions.
Analysts predict that these vehicles will not be marketed for individual sales but instead for ride-hailing services such as self-driving taxis.
The company also plans to show off some of its autonomous driving cars during the Winter Olympics Game in February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE