General Motors is expected Friday to unveil a new driverless concept car without a steering wheel or pedals, as we first reported earlier today, and now we have a first look at the vehicle’s interior.
GM and its autonomous car unit, Cruise Automation, will submit a report Friday to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on how it plans to safely equip cars with self-driving technology and deploy them on the road, sources familiar with the plan told Jalopnik.
While it still isn’t clear if GM’s showing off a working prototype tomorrow or if this is just a concept, the image we obtained shows off a straightforward interior—almost certainly a Bolt—just without a wheel or pedals.
When asked earlier Friday about the planned announcement, a GM spokesperson said the automaker had no comment.
GM rolled out an extensive game plan last fall for the company’s self-driving car plans. The automaker said it’s confident it can deploy fully autonomous cars in 2019 that could be used for a ride-sharing service.
The image tracks with previous comments made by GM’s autonomous car execs. In November, Cruise’s CEO said that its plans for self-driving deployment won’t include small-scale pilots “where you’ve got drivers still in the car,” a fact that immediately raised concern from safety groups.
Expect more soon. I’m interested to see whether GM actually plans to put this on the road, and, if so, when.
Update (12:02 a.m.): The embargo was apparently lifted at midnight. Several outlets just published stories highlighting most of what we reported earlier Thursday, adding that GM intends to manufacture an unspecified number of the driverless vehicles.
The automaker’s asking NHTSA if it can deploy the cars without a steering wheel or brake pedals, according to multiple reports. It’s unclear if GM’s waiting to launch production until hearing back from NHTSA.
Here’s a video GM produced to show off the car:
Update (3:35 p.m.): NHTSA has chimed in to say it has received GM’s petition to deploy the Cruise AVs, and that it’ll give it “careful consideration.”