General Motors says it has filed a Safety Petition with the U.S. Department of Transportation to deploy its Cruise AV, a Level IV/V autonomous car that has no steering wheel, pedals or other manual controls, “built from the start to operate safely on its own,” next year. The GM Cruise AV will operate on geofenced streets, which is sometimes considered Level IV, not Level V.
GM has released a rendering of the Cruise AV dashboard, which looks much like a Chevrolet Bolt EV dash without the wheel, which makes sense, in that the automaker has been building test cars off the electric compact since early last year in the Bolt’s Orion assembly plant in Michigan. That factory also is expected to be the home of the upcoming Cadillac XT4 crossover/utility.
The announcement comes on the cusp between the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, as other automakers vaguely speak of semi-autonomous vehicles coming early in the next decade. GM last year launched its Super Cruise Level II autonomy in the Cadillac CT6 Platinum. Analysts and journalists have been arguing over the past several months whether Silicon Valley or the auto industry has the lead on self-driving cars, with many naming either Tesla, or Alphabet’s Google-Waymo, as the leader.
With its announcement of a driverless car in 2019, GM appears to have taken the lead in the autonomous car race.