Regulators To Review GM’s New Driverless Car

Agence France-Presse reports:

Regulators will “carefully and responsibly” review General Motors’ request to test an autonomous car without a steering wheel, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Sunday.

“It is now coming to the stage with the rapid advancement of self-driving technology that this request is now a reality,” Chao said on the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show. “So we will view the petition carefully and responsibly.”​

GM on Friday unveiled the Cruise AV, an autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals, announcing it had asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to exempt it from a number of federal standards that cannot be met with a driverless car.

More from CBS News:

As supporters and critics debate self-driving vehicles, 125,000 senior citizens who live in a central Florida retirement community will take them for a ride in the world’s largest self-driving experiment. They’ll travel 750 miles of roads in The Villages retirement community near Orlando.

Voyage, an autonomous vehicle (AV) startup specializing in a robo-taxi service, will pick them up at their homes and drive them free of charge to and from grocery stores, theaters, pools, golf and tennis with only a “technician” on board to monitor the system — and take the wheel if necessary. Later on, the technician will be dropped and a transportation fee added.

If this rollout proves successful, it could pave the way for AVs to assist seniors nationwide with needed services. It could also give a lift to this fledgling industry at a time when automakers are coming under fire for moving too fast on self-driving vehicles — and the federal government for moving too slowly.