Imagine hailing a ride through your ride-sharing app, and when it arrives to pick you up, there's nobody inside. Just four seats. No steering wheel, no pedals, and no human control whatsoever. Would you get inside? GM hopes that you will, and the company wants you to try it out next year with the Cruise AV.

General Motors has filed a petition with the US Department of Transportation asking to deploy the self-driving Cruise AV in 2019. The reportedly production-ready car has no pedals or steering wheel, or any sort of manual control mechanism. It's based on the Bolt EV, and is not to be confused with the Cruze compact car. The Cruise AV gets its name from Cruise Automation, the startup GM purchased in 2016 to accelerate software development for autonomous vehicle technology.

Equipped with a host of safety equipment, the Cruise AV can scan in both long and short range in a 360-degree view. The vehicle has five LiDAR sensors (Light Detection And Ranging), 16 video cameras, and 21 radar sensors. The laser measurements give precision information about fixed and moving objects, complemented by the radar emitters and receivers on board.

Meanwhile, cameras work with the LiDAR inputs to classify objects being tracked. This helps to identify vehicle types, pedestrians, roadway details, and signage. Longer-range sensors track oncoming vehicles moving at higher speeds to anticipate driving needs farther along, while the short-range detectors determine immediate requirements for the automated vehicle.

General Motors has outlined the Cruise AV in its Safety Report, issued along with the petition to the Department of Transportation to allow limited testing of the Cruise AV on public roads through GM's in-house ride sharing program in select cities around the United States.

Source: General Motors

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