20 January 2018

GM says first driverless cars ready for road test

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American auto giant General Motors (GM) says it is already preparing to test driverless cars in an ambitious project that could eventually revolutionize the global transportation culture. reports citing Press TV.

GM spokesman Kevin Kelly was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that the first of the autonomous Chevrolet Bolts - that would have no steering wheel, accelerator or brake pedal - were ready to be tested on roads.

The report added that GM had also filed a petition with the federal government seeking permission to test the vehicles sometime next year with no human backup drivers.

Keyy, as quoted by US media, said the company could not yet reveal how many of the autonomous vehicles would be made once the project reaches the industrial scale.

GM in November said that it expected to transport people and cargo with self-driving vehicles in big cities sometime in 2019.

The project - that experts say could lead to the development of one of the most futuristic vehicles on the road to date - is being developed by Cruise Automation – a San Francisco start-up that GM acquired in spring 2016.

GM and Cruise have developed four generations of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs. But the last version has no steering wheel, and no pedals for accelerating or braking. Doors open and close automatically, according to a report by the USA Today.

Those functions are handled by software, sensors and a laser-guidance technology called LiDAR.

Seven states, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas allow such vehicles to be tested with federal approval, the USA Today added.

A similar aspiration is currently being pursued by Google. The company’s self-driving car unit Waymo launched a pilot program late last year that involves cars without a driver at the steering wheel.

2018.01.12 / 18:59
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