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General Motors Co. Expect to spend $ 1 billion on its autonomous vehicle unit, GM Cruise LLC, a down payment on its Auto 2.0 vision to launch a driver-free taxi service next year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiates General Motors Cos's request to put a roadless car – without steering wheel or pedals – on public roads, promoting the Detroit automaker's petition for public review.

Public airing of petitions from GM and Nuro Inc., a Silicon Valley robotics firm, is a necessary step for using public roads to test vehicles that do not comply with existing federal standards. The companies will be open for 60 days.

"The institute is actively working on public comment on proposed exemptions from federal standards and how the public can be protected when new transport technologies arrive," said Transport Minister Elaine L. Chao in a Friday statement.

NHTSA has provided summaries of GM's and Nuro & # 39; s petitions for public review. GM sent its petition to NHTSA in January 2018 in its first step towards deploying a driverless taxi fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EV-based cars, known as Cruise AV. GM at that time said it would distribute its autonomous fleet this year.

"Security is the cornerstone of our approach to the design, development and testing of our auto-zero emission components," GM said in a statement. "We believe that automated technology has tremendous potential to reduce the human operator error, which is a leading cause of more than 90% of vehicle crashes." "GM & # 39; s ZeroVision Autonomous Vehicle (ZEAV) represents important advances in safety, zero emission vehicles. , and mobility and meet the security objectives of all current federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS). "

In a statement, American beds said Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township," Today's announcement by NHTSA confirms it self-propelled technologies are not a future innovation: they are already on the roads and carrying passengers.

"With self-propelled technology that is rapidly evolving, the federal government has to put in place a framework to ensure that these vehicles work safely without suffocating innovation. Today's announcement is an exciting step towards reaching the full promise of self-driving cars for GM's 14-month wait for a response from the government's government is evidence that getting the necessary federal approval is not a small step, nor is it guaranteed. The federal security regulation language is about human drivers and vehicles designed to be launched by a human driver – as opposed to artificial intelligence.

GM and Nuro are trying to prove to the federal government that they can provide Security that is similar to that already required by existing law and does so without human operators.

If GM does not get federal approval for its autonomous vehicles without steering wheel, pedals or mirrors when it is ready to deploy its robot axle fleet, CEO Mary Barra has said the company could start the service with today's generation of Cruise AVs already on the road in San Francisco.

Barra and other car manufacturers and their autonomous driving unit, GM Cruise LLC, have said that driver deployment without a taxi will be "gated by security."

nnaughton@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @NoraNaughton

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