GM and Ford to test self-driving cars

GM and Ford to test self-driving cars

Ford and GM have both submitted applications to US auto safety agencies to try to secure incentives related to developing self-driving car technologies. The companies applied for permission to experiment with robotic vehicles without normal human controls, such as steering wheels and pedals.

According to information that was provided in a Reuters report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may allow a small number of self-driving cars to drive on US roads without these controls. Ford and GM expect to put up to 2,500 (maximum) of these vehicles on the road this year alone, albeit for ride-sharing and transportation purposes.

It is worth mentioning that, at least until this moment, the companies do not issue any orders to sell these types of vehicles directly to customers. The orders were issued by NHTSA this week, both issued separately by the companies, but in close proximity that may indicate some level of cooperation.

The regulatory agency is open for public comments for the next 30 days. GM issued an order in 2018 where the company wanted to test a self-driving car without steering or brakes built on the Chevrolet Bolt EV platform. However, the automaker withdrew the order in 2020.

General Motors had already announced in February this year that it had made a similar request to NHTSA to be able to deploy self-driving cars without steering wheels or mirrors. Self-driving cars would also lack turn signals and windshield wipers.

The company also wants to introduce the GM Cruise Origin, a self-driving car model designed by the automaker that has subway-style doors and no steering wheel.