On Thursday, GM rolled out a video on the vehicle it's calling the Cruise AV Self-Driving Car and it has been viewed more than 14,000 times on YouTube.
It's a bold move from GM, the automaker behind Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC.
If approved, the Cruise AVs would probably appear first in San Francisco or Phoenix, where G.M.'s self-driving subsidiary, Cruise Automation, is conducting tests. Much like Uber or Lyft, customers will be able to book rides on the Cruise AV through a mobile application.
GM will run the cars in a test batch for a ride-sharing program starting in 2019, and they won't be without a safety net. According to the automaker, the modified Bolt EVs navigate their surroundings using data from no fewer than 21 radars, 16 cameras and five LiDAR sensors. Unlike some vehicles coming out of the electronics show, GM's vision looks rather ordinary, a natural transition from today's vehicles.
"We are asking NHTSA to give us permission to meet the safety standards through a different approach because we can't achieve them now without a human driver or steering wheel", Hemmersbaugh said.
The company said passengers can get the vehicle moving by communicating with several interior screens.
Under current law, it's illegal to deploy vehicles on public roads if those vehicles don't meet all of the existing federal regulations.
The new driverless cars will travel on a fixed route controlled by the Bolt's mapping system.
Above: GM: Fourth generation vehicle, the Cruise AV.
Asked for comment, two DOT spokespeople did not immediately respond. It is planning to launch a fleet of these fully autonomous vehicles on roads in 2019.
Of course, the current regulations aren't quite at the same point that driverless auto technology is.
Late past year, Waymo started an autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix using a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan.
Inside the Cruise AV, there are touchscreen tablets that display vehicle information, route details and maps, among others.
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