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GM Seeks Approval for AV Deployment in US

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Feb 24, 2022—General Motors and Cruise, the automaker's autonomous driving unit, have asked permission of U.S. regulators to deploy an autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel, pedals or other human controls.

The companies plan to deploy the Cruise Origin, a "roomy, low-to-the-ground minivan without a steering wheel and with seating for about five riders," should they receive the green light from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Per a report from Reuters, the NHTSA has the authority to let companies deploy "a limited number of vehicles to temporarily operate on U.S. roads that do not have required human controls."

"The submission of this petition signals that Cruise and GM are ready to build and deploy the Origin, here in America," Cruise wrote in a blog post cited by the report. The post added the use of driverless vehicles such as the Origin "would expand mobility options for people who had traditionally faced barriers to reliable transportation, including seniors and the blind."

Production of the Origin is expected to begin late this year in Detroit; vehicles have a target delivery date of 2023.

This is the second attempt General Motors has made to receive approval to put a driverless vehicle on the roads; the automaker submitted a similar petition back in 2018 for a driverless model of the Chevrolet Bolt, though the company withdrew the petition in 2020.

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