World car news #Update
Innovation in the autoworld seems to be moving with blitzkrieg speed as one thing is happening fast at the heel of another. While the world is still yet to get over the invention of electric cars and its workings, General Motors is already writing petitions to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to officially deploy 2,500 self-driving Cruise AV’s called Robo Taxis come 2019.
Interestingly, these vehicles which were unveiled on Friday are the fourth generation of GM’s autonomous vehicles since it acquired Cruise Automation, a Silicon Valley startup in early 2016. With the strong intention to commercialize the world’s first fully self-driving cars and bring about the biggest change ever since horses were replaced with horseless carriages, GM is giving others in the autonomous automaking race like BMW, Uber, Tesla, Mercedes, Volvo and especially Waymo a run for their money.
These solely passenger vehicles are not going include steering wheels, pedals or human drivers. The latter part has been the one generating skepticisms to the granting of GM’s petition by NHTSA. Although GM claims that the Robo Taxis will meet all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), some of these laws are applicable only when there is a human driver. For example, a safety law applicable to the airbag mounted on the steering wheel cannot fly in a vehicle that does not even have a steering wheel.
In the 16 cases where these laws serve as restrictions, GM will look for alternative ways in which its vehicles can meet the safety requirements. Should GM get the FMVSS waiver from NHTSA, it would be clear to officially release 2,500 Robo Taxis in the seven states where autonomous driving is already allowed.