For passengers who cannot open doors, the Cruise AV - a rebranded version of GM’s Chevrolet Bolt EV - has even been designed to perform that task. It will have other accommodations for hearing and visually impaired customers.
This will be one of the first self-driving vehicles in commercial passenger service and among the first to do away with manual controls for steering, brakes and throttle. What is the driver’s seat in the Bolt EV will become the front left passenger seat in the Cruise AV, GM said.
Company President Dan Ammann told reporters GM had filed on Thursday for government approval to deploy the “first production-ready vehicle designed from the start without a steering wheel, pedals or other unnecessary manual controls.”
GM is part of a growing throng of vehicle manufacturers, technology companies and tech startups seeking to develop so-called robo-taxis over the next three years in North America, Europe and Asia. Most of those companies have one or more partners.
Ford Motor Co. said on Tuesday it will partner with delivery service Postmates Inc. as the automaker starts testing ways to transport people, food and packages this spring in its self-driving cars, which are being developed by Ford’s Argo unit.
The company declined to identify the first states in which it plans to launch the vehicle or say when it would begin testing.