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GM seeks U.S approval to deploy self-driving vehicle -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A new GM logo can be seen on Detroit’s General Motors headquarters, Michigan. This was March 16, 2021. Picture taken March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters] – General Motors Co. and Cruise, its self-driving tech unit Cruise applied to the U.S. regulators Friday for approval to create and deploy a self drivable vehicle. They do not require human control like brake pedals or steering wheels.

Cruise said in a blog post it sought permission to deploy the Cruise Origin that does not need features like a steering wheel to operate safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the authority to issue petitions to permit a restricted number of vehicles temporarily to operate on U.S. highways that don’t require human control.

Cruise and GM first disclosed in October 2020 they planned to seek approval from NHTSA within months to deploy the Cruise Origin.

In 2018, GM asked NHTSA for permission to build a Chevrolet Bolt-based car without brake pedals or steering wheels on U.S. roads. GM withdrew this petition in 2020.

NHTSA declined Friday to comment after spending 15 months reviewing the initial GM petition. Congress is still unable to pass legislation that would allow self-driving cars to be deployed on U.S. roads quickly without the involvement of human drivers.

In January 2020, Cruise revealed the Origin. It only features two seats that face each other and can accommodate four people comfortably.

Companies can apply to the current law to be exempt from safety standards on motor vehicles up to 2,500 units for two years if they do not conform to federal regulations.

Exemptions exist for U.S. Vehicle Safety Rules, which were written many decades ago. They assumed human drivers would take control of the vehicle.

In 2018, GM applied for a waiver to temporarily suspend features like turn signals, dashboard warning lights, and mirrors that were intended for a driver. GM originally hoped that approval would be granted to allow the vehicle to go into service without the human driver by 2019.

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