No manual controls whatsoever in GM's new Cruise AV electric auto

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The company describes it as "the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls".

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. Self-driving cars operate by GM's Cruise division have already been involved in some fender benders, usually involving other road users crashing into them.

GM said it's filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) to test the cars.

General Motors (GM) says it is mass-producing autonomous cars that give complete control to the machine by taking away both the steering wheel and pedals.

"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.

Kyle Vogt, the CEO of Cruise Automation said during last November that their plans for self-driving deployment do not involve small-scale pilots, which raised questions on road safety.

Amman said this is the kind of advancement that will have a big impact on the world as the goal is to make transportation more affordable and acceptable and have widespread adoption.

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The concept shows a vehicle which has no mirrors, steering wheel or pedals, but it does have screens for every passenger and what appear to be two large, red emergency stop buttons in the roof and within reach of all passengers.

The Cruise AV, based on the Chevrolet Bolt, utilizes five LiDARs, 16 cameras, and 21 radars-including articulating radars, long-range radars, and short-range radars-to ensure capabilities in complex environments. All cars will be deployed as ride-hailing vehicles in a few cities.

Ford has said it plans to launch a fully-autonomous vehicle by 2021. It's based on the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle.

Specifically, the auto contains 21 radar sensors, 16 cameras, and no fewer than five lidar units, and runs on self-driving software developed by Cruise and GM.

GM has seen a high incidence of accidents with its self-driving cars.

Like many other companies, GM says the goal of self-driving cars is to eliminate crashes.

GM sees the announcement Friday as a significant step toward the widespread adoption of self-driving vehicle technology. The automaker and companies including Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo unit and startup Zoox Inc. have demonstrated cars that can drive with so-called Level 4 autonomy.

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