General Motors has unveiled the fourth-generation Cruise AV self-driving car, which it is planning on having on the road by 2019.
The company claims it is the “first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls”.
A central touchscreen, and the climate control unit serve as the only physical interfaces between the passengers and the car.
The interior (top) and the exterior (below), as seen in the company’s 2018 Self-Driving Safety Report, look to be based heavily on the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle, currently on sale in the US, Europe and other overseas markets.
According to GM, the Cruise AV has a suite of sensors — including 5 LIDAR, 16 camera, and 21 radar units — that gives it 360-degree vision and perception day or night.
The car’s hardware and software can reportedly identify pedestrians, spot objects entering the road, deal with aggressive drivers, navigate past road cones, handle construction zones, and cope with situations normally thrown up by driving in the city.
The Cruise AV is said to have redundant steering, braking and collision detection systems, which can steer the car if the main control network goes down.
So far, the Cruise AV has been mainly tested in a geofenced area of San Francisco, with some of the kilometres racked up as part of the employee-only ride-hailing service launched in 2017.
Cruise Automation was acquired by GM in March, 2016, for an estimated US$1 billion ($1.3 billion). GM has filed a safety petition with United States’ Department of Transport, and hopes to have the car on public roads by 2019.
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