Cruise Automation, the autonomous vehicle division of General Motors (GM), has filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for approval to deploy its Cruise Origin vehicles without a steering wheel or brake pedals.
The Cruise Origin is the autonomous shuttle version of Cruise vehicles that are zero-emission electric cars designed for ridesharing and ride-hailing use cases. The vehicles are being built to operate without a human driver so they will not contain human-centered features such as a steering wheel or a sun visor to operate safely.
Cruise said the NHTSA has made it clear that autonomous vehicles must put safety first, but initially they need more information from real-world vehicle operations. The petition is to enable that information gathering mission to create new, updated regulations and standards.
The submission to the NHTSA signals that Cruise and GM are ready to build and deploy the Origin in America.
Cruise is focused on several principles including:
- Driving environmental sustainability.
- Ensuring U.S. leadership in developing autonomous technology and artificial intelligence.
- Supporting the American workforce.
- Promoting accessibility.
Because the Origin will be an electric vehicle, it will help reduce the reliance on oil as well as reduce the emissions from gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles, Cruise said. Additionally, it will open mobility options for seniors, those with disabilities and those who do not currently have access to reliable transportation.