General Motors Company and its subsidiary Cruise sought approval from US regulators last February 19 to build and deploy autonomous vehicles.
The American automotive manufacturer filed a petition seeking a permit from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
This move mainly aims to put Origin, a self-driving car, into commercial service.
Accordingly, it does not rely on certain human-centered features, like a steering wheel, to work safely.
GM tagged this latest move as a giant leap towards its vision of safer, more sustainable, and accessible transportation.
The NHTSA grants petitions to temporarily allow a limited number of fully-autonomous vehicles to operate on all US roads.
In October 2020, Cruise and General Motors unveiled their plans to seek the said approval from the government agency.
In 2018, they petitioned NHTSA to permit a vehicle built on a Chevrolet Bolt to run without steering wheels on US roads. Nevertheless, GM withdrew this request in late 2020.
Currently, Congress is stalling legislation on deploying fully self-driving cars in the United States.
In the current law, firms can apply for an exemption from motor vehicle safety standards for up to 2,500 vehicles.
In May, Cruise urged US President Joe Biden to back the stated legislation. The appeal aims to increase the cap on the number of exempted units that a company can seek.
The news also came after the firm started offering free rides on San Francisco streets in its current fleet of self-driving cars.
Subsequently, California has a robust regulatory structure for autonomous vehicles.
The state only allowed seven permit holders for driverless testing, including GM’s Cruise, Alphabet’s Waymo, and Amazon’s Zoox.
Correspondingly, only Cruise, Waymo, and Nuro have a permit to deploy autonomous vehicles for commercial purposes.
General Motors’ Origin Vehicle
General Motors partnered with Cruise investor Honda Motors to develop Origin. The autonomous vehicle has two long seats facing each other to fit four passengers comfortably.
They expected to start the production of Origin later this year at Factory Zero, located in Detroit. Subsequently, they anticipated vehicle deliveries in 2023.
Moreover, Cruise also mentioned its plans to launch a commercial taxi service this year.
Meanwhile, in December, China’s Geely Holding announced that its premium electric mobility brand Zeekr will produce electric vehicles for Waymo.
They anticipated the said EV model to run as a fully autonomous ride-hailing vehicle across the United States.