GENERAL MOTORS (GM) has announced it is seeking approval from the government of the United States of America to bring a ‘fully autonomous car’ – without a steering wheel, brake or accelerator pedal – to market in 2019.
GM executives said the company had asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to give permission for 16 alterations to existing vehicle safety rules.
GM president Dan Ammann issued a press release stating that the Detroit car maker had sought government approval for a:
First production-ready vehicle designed from the start, without a steering wheel, pedals or unnecessary manual controls.
If approval is given, GM will still need to win over politicians and lawmakers in states across the country. At present, seven states allow the vehicle changes sought by the company. In other states, GM will try to change the law or get a waiver from existing rules.
In a briefing to investors, GM said it plans to keep control of its self-driving fleet, unlike other car makers who go into partnership, because the total lifetime ‘revenue generation’ per car could be several hundred thousands of dollars, compared to a one-off sale of $30,000.