Ammann said. "A vehicle without a steering wheel can't have a steering wheel airbag", he said. The American giant bought San Francisco based startup Cruise Automation in March 2016 for an estimated $1 billion.
"We have not yet shared detailed on locations, but we now test our driverless cars in downtown San Francisco, Phoenix, and metro Detroit, and we plan to expand to New York City this year". Eventually, it should serve in ride-hailing services in cities across the U.S. General Motors just unveiled a self-driving vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals - or basically any other manual controls.
"Our vehicles are on the road in communities across the US navigating some of the most challenging and unpredictable driving environments", the Cruise website said. GM released a photo and video renderings of the vehicle January 12. On the other hand, auto makers point out that the strict safety standards required to test these cars could delay progress in the field. If the federal safety highway agency approves GM's petition, the automaker could build up to 2,500 of these vehicles per year, though the automaker has not committed to a firm production plan. "What we can do is put the equivalent of the passenger side airbag on that side as well". GM's petition with DOT is meant to gain a waiver or exemption for their wheel-less vehicle. That's the maximum number the government will now allow for each manufacturer. The automaker has been testing its self-driving Chevy Bolt on the streets of San Francisco and Phoenix.
Legislation to allow carmakers to test driverless vehicles on US roads with less hassle - called the SELF DRIVE act - is still pending approval in the Senate, although it has already been passed by the House of Representatives. "Safely developing and deploying electric self-driving vehicles at scale will dramatically change our world". It has previously pointed to the challenges of testing in dense urban areas.
Some critics, such as Jalopnik's Jason Torchinsky, have suggested GM should have been more experimental: "There's just no reason to keep these rigid interior design rules when you're not required (or able) to drive!"
GM is seeking approval for an autonomous vehicle which has no steering wheel and no pedals, and you can imagine the regulatory and red tape maze it has to navigate.
Back in November, Google's Waymo announced its fully self-driving cars were being tested on roads in Arizona.