GM: Autonomous Shuttle without Pedals or Steering Wheel
Look for neither the steering wheel nor the pedals: this autonomous shuttle, the latest from the General Motors (GM) start-up, Cruise, does not have one. This vehicle is “our answer to the question of which transport system would you want to build if you could start from scratch,” said Dan Ammann, CEO of the start-up, unveiling the Cruise Origin electric vehicle on the evening of this Tuesday.
Dan Ammann, chief executive officer of Cruise, a Honda and General Motors self-driving car partnership, speaks on stage at the launch of the Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle in San Francisco, California, U.S. January 21, 2020 pic.twitter.com/SyQob3G8De
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“We removed the engine. We have removed the driver, who is most often tired, distracted, pissed off and in a hurry. We removed the equipment that was there to assist the driver, including the steering wheel, pedals, mirrors, windshield wipers and narrow seats, “he continued. The start-up explained that the Origin is intended to be a production vehicle, designed for shared transportation.
No autonomous vehicle before 2028?
This announcement was made without “any details on its scope, launch date or even its cost (have been) given, which leaves observers more questions than answers,” noted analyst Richard Windsor, on the Radio Free Mobile blog. According to him, no major development in autonomous vehicles will take place before 2028.
He “suspects GM Cruise is under pressure to show something and, while the technology is far from commercialized, an exhibition car is all they have to show us.” “Therefore, I don’t think it advances GM Cruise’s schedule in the market and I see no reason to revise my estimate for autonomous driving to become a commercial reality,” he added.
Acquisition in 2016
GM bought the Californian start-up Cruise in 2016 during the race for an autonomous car between the car manufacturers. Driverless, it is supposed to make it possible to reshape urban spaces for these shared vehicles.
To date, autonomous vehicles have not passed the traffic stage in confined spaces, most often for test periods. In most of them, a driver can regain control in an emergency. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is among the most advanced with Waymo.