The US Department of Transportation will “carefully” consider General Motors’ (GM) request to test a car without a steering wheel or pedals as part of its self-driving car development program that it wants to put on the road in 2019.
“It is now coming to the stage with the rapid advancement of self-driving technology that this request is now a reality, so we are going to look at it carefully and responsibly,” US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Sunday.
She added that the Trump Administration’s concern was “security” while encouraging the development of technology.
GM said Friday it had filed a request with the Department of Transport for a “vehicle designed from the outset to operate on its own without a driver, steering wheel, pedal or manual control”.
This is the “4th generation” of the self-driving vehicle developed by GM, the Cruise-AV, which the manufacturer wants to put on American roads by 2019. It is developed on the same platform as of the company’s electric car, the Chevrolet Bolt.
GM must apply for authorization to test such a vehicle on the roads as it does not meet the US homologation standards. Though a steering wheel and pedals are not mandatory, airbags are and are usually housed in the steering wheel of the vehicle.
The largest American manufacturer wants to be the first to put into circulation a fully autonomous car in the United States.