First Look At Chevy Bolt Autonomous Interior Without Steering Wheel Or Pedals

JAN 12 2018 BY JAKE HOLMES 68

No steering wheel or pedals in the self-driving car.

Notice something unusual about the inside of this new car? That’s right: the Cruise AV lacks steering wheels, pedals, or any other manual controls for the occupants. General Motors and Cruise Automation have petitioned the U.S. Department of Transportation to launch a fleet of these fully autonomous vehicles on roads in 2019.

There are few details available so far, though, GM promises that the Cruise AV will “operate safely on its own.” As is evident from this photo and video, the car’s dashboard would have a similar center-stack and infotainment system design to current GM cars, but without a steering wheel on the driver’s side. Displays in the back of the headrests would provide information to rear-seat passengers. The Cruise AV will be based on the existing Chevy Bolt EV prototypes that GM has already been using to test self-driving technologies. The company said in a safety document that users would request a ride via a smartphone app, and that the autonomous vehicles would be sent automatically to pick them up.

According to Automotive News, the vehicle will be used for a ride-hailing service, similar to Uber or Lyft. GM’s petition to the DOT asks that the car be exempt from certain federal safety rules for cars. AN says that the Cruise AV, for instance, would not have a driver’s steering-wheel airbag, but instead would have a dashboard-mounted airbag like the one on the passenger side. GM describes the cars as the “fourth generation” of its self-driving test cars.

GM acquired startup Cruise Automation to help develop self-driving vehicles, investing at least $14 million to expand the company’s development work. GM has also acquired a company called Strobe, which manufactures the LIDAR laser sensors used to help guide autonomous vehicles.

GM is not the only company developing self-driving vehicles, with ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft also experimenting with the cars, as well as Google subsidiary Waymo.

Brief press blast below:

Meet the Cruise AV: the First Production-Ready Car With No Steering Wheel or Pedals

GM files petition asking DOT permission to safely deploy self-driving vehicle in 2019

General Motors filed a Safety Petition with the Department of Transportation for its fourth-generation self-driving Cruise AV, the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls.

For more information on how GM engineered safety into the Cruise AV in every step of design, development, manufacturing, testing and validation, view our 2018 Self-Driving Safety Report.

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68 Comments on "First Look At Chevy Bolt Autonomous Interior Without Steering Wheel Or Pedals"

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WadeTyhon

I believe they already announced a plan to launch their autonomous ride sharing app to the general public by next year also.

This new model would be here right on time! 🙂

GM leading the pack in AVs. Go GM!

Dav8or

Why are these things a good thing? How does this help anybody?

WadeTyhon

I would never buy one for myself. I enjoy driving.

But GM has no intention of selling you one of these anyways. GM can make significantly more money using these in a ride sharing capacity.

And as a Taxi/Uber/Lyft this is potentially great!

SJC

An eCab with routing can pick up people as they go, fewer cars on the road, less energy used.

I’m sure some of the Cruise AV tech will float down to consumer offerings. Be it the Bolt or future vehicles.

Plus more Bolts/Cruise AVs rolling off the lines, the better.

Pushmi-Pullyu

1. If you hate the stress of driving on a daily commute and would rather relax in the car on the way too and from work, this could be the car for you.

2. If you’re too old to drive safely, or physically disabled, this could be the car for you.

3. If you’re visually disabled, this could be the car for you.

4. If you’ve gotten so many traffic tickets that you’ve lost your driver’s license, or are in danger of losing it, or you hate being stuck as the “designated driver” when your friends go out for drinks, this could be the car for you.

5. If you run a taxi fleet, you might well want to use these cars to save money on taxi drivers’ salaries.

No doubt others can add to this list.

SJC

If someone has been drinking this is the eCab for them.

Brian

A part of me dies every time I see something like this. It’s like when automakers switched from manual to automatic transmissions. I still long for a true sports coupe which I can row my own way through the gears. But I want it to be electric. And we move farther from that every year.

To paraphrase Billy Joel, “there are no cars left for drivers like me”

WadeTyhon

That electric corvette conversion has a “manual transmission”.

Maybe that concept will eventually show up in electric sports cars that aren’t 750k?

Brian

Very cool, I didn’t know that.

Detroit Electric also made a prototype years ago with a manual transmission sports car.

What I want is something much more affordable, though. Like my old Honda S2000 in terms of performance and price. Or even like the Chevy Jolt mock-up.

WadeTyhon

Chevy does have an electric sports car coming within the next 3 years or so… it looks vaguely Camaro like.

A good way to woo existing sports/pony car drivers into a more expensive electric sports car might be letting the driver chose a stick. 🙂

SJC

You can have a manual transmission in an EV but it is less efficient from gear losses when you don’t need gears in the first place.

Dav8or

I know right? I am a born car lover and have been a car fan since the sixties. This is horrid to me. How is this advancement? All it does over Uber is finally illuminate that one job. If only we could get rid of more jobs, then America would be great!!

There is literally a war on the middle class going on now. Either get it together and join the upper class in a cubicle, or get ready to join the lower class and collect welfare. Shame on America! First you shipped as many jobs as possible overseas and then when that just wasn’t enough, you invented ways to illuminate even more. I will be surprised if when these putrid things actually hit the streets that there aren’t people tipping them over, or setting them on fire. Can’t say as though I would blame them.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

lol, well, just step in front of one of these all the time. You can stop the vehicle by using “The Force”.
😛

ClarksonCote

Look up Universal Income. Ideally as these kinds of technologies proliferate, that kind of model would be adopted.

scott franco

I looked it up. It came up “see socialisim”.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

ROTFLMAO

TwoVolts

Scott,
If universal income becomes a reality, you should feel free to reject your share. You wouldn’t want to live off shared wealth like those lazy Scandinavians or despicable mooching Alaskans.

SJC

scott,

You seem to imply socialism is evil communism where they take your ill gotten gains and put you on a work farm.

Dav8or

Universal income is the stupidest thing yet. They used to just call it welfare, or the dole. Sure. People with good paying jobs paying to have other people sit around, living a basic meager living and doing nothing. What could possibly go wrong with this idea?

There is a thing called human dignity. Working and accomplishing things give people value and meaning. There is also the human traits of jealousy, envy, bigotry and rage. You think the country is divided now? Universal income will further alienate people from one another.

Here’s a better idea- STOP ELIMINATING JOBS JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN. I swear, Silicon Valley is rapidly becoming the biggest group of heartless, self centered douche bags yet. Pretty much everything they invent is either designed to eliminate a job, or reduce a job’s monetary value. It seems the only good jobs there are for people that can sit around in meetings coming up with ways to get rid of other people’s jobs.

Anybody else see a problem with this? Probably not.

Pushmi-Pullyu

I would be not merely happy, but absolutely ecstatic if we started seeing a movement in industry towards keeping people gainfully employed by using human workers in preference to automation.

Unfortunately, with modern business strategies abandoning the concept of companies being “responsible citizens” and “supporting the community”, focusing instead only on selfishly maximizing making money for their executives and stockholders at the expense of quite literally everything and everyone else, it seems that won’t happen unless governments force companies to reverse the trend towards ever more automation.

The level of hypocrisy and abandonment of responsibility among the very rich, who give themselves the label of “job creators” despite their actual motives and efforts being directed towards eliminating as many jobs as they can, is absolutely sickening.

Haven’t you heard? “Greed is good.” 🙁

Dav8or

Sadly, absolutely true. We would all be better off if we could figure out a way to fund our retirements than investing in the world’s biggest casino, Wall Street.

Businesses can last longer, better serve the community, better serve their employees and produce better product when they are privately held. However privately held companies don’t have the ability to become a huge conglomerate that can swallow up their competition and become too big to fail.

It’s moot point now though. Americans and largely the rest of the world love their casinos and are gambling addicts. The concept of the individual getting rich quick is way more powerful than balance and community. Besides, with no other way to fund our retirements, we all have little choice but to join in.

Guilty as charged. I freely participate in an inherently morally corrupt institution I have loathed for years simply because I don’t want to work until the day I die.

TwoVolts

“Businesses can last longer, better serve the community, better serve their employees and produce better product when they are privately held.”

Corporations have a legal obligation to serve the interest of shareholders only. This is the root of the current problem. Businesses only serve the community, their customers, and their employees when it does not conflict with maximizing profits. If you love corporations so much, please do not complain when they outsource production to low wage countries. Also, do not complain if they decide to sell products with known deadly defects because it is judged cheaper to settle the wrongful death lawsuits than to fix the problem. If you happen to get fired from a company that purges the bottom 5 to 10 % of ‘low performing’ employees every year, accept your new fate gleefully because the shareholders are being served well.

TwoVolts

The train has already left the station. If Silicon Valley doesn’t do it, others will. AI and advanced automation are here now and we are at the cusp of massive job displacement. The displaced newly poor will reject socialism because they are brainwashed to do so – preferring instead to be utterly destitute. The elite see to it that the poor prefer to be poor rather than the co-beneficiaries of a leisure society. BTW, there are other more meaningful ways to pursue human dignity than working on an assembly line or driving a cab.

Dav8or

I’d love to hear your utopian vision of this socialist future and what exactly everyone would do with their lives while the robots become our slaves doing all the work. Until of course the robots realize they don’t need us anymore and that is illogical to be doing work for us.

TwoVolts

Dav8or,
I don’t have a utopian vision, and I also fear a future where AI becomes the dominant ‘species’ on the planet. However, when I look at where we are inevitably going, I would prefer we avoid a future in which there are only overlords ( the 0.1%) and serfs ( the 99.9%). We are clearly headed in that direction. The job eliminations coming in the next few decades will be staggering, and there is currently no plan for society to deal with it. What is your vision? Stop technology that increases corporate competitiveness from being implemented? If so, good luck with that.

TwoVolts

I agree with your sentiments – but your righteous anger is misplaced. The heartless douche bags are not in Silicon Valley. The folks working for Silicon Valley are merely the highly intelligent useful idiots.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“I will be surprised if when these putrid things actually hit the streets that there aren’t people tipping them over, or setting them on fire. Can’t say as though I would blame them.”

During 1811-1816, the Luddites tried to use violence to stop technological progress, smashing power looms. Looks like you’re a neo-Luddite. Fortunately, people like you won’t be any more successful at stopping progress than the Luddites were.

How sad for you that you’re unable to deal with Progress.

TwoVolts

I completely agree with you that there is a war on the middle class – but if you think the upper class who is responsible for waging this war work “in cubicles”, you are way off the mark. The upper class simply don’t work, collecting investment income instead – income that is taxed at a lower tax rate than worker income. Their tax rates will be even lower thanks to the GOP tax plan.

DL

I tell you what, I CAN’T WAIT FOR THESE!

At least 80% of the people on the road have no business being there. They have no actual driving training, they’re reading, putting on makeup, shaving, eating… I actually saw someone the other day watching TV on a tablet propped up on the dash in front of them!

If these people are driving AVs instead, then I can drive without having to deal with their idiotic behavior OR I don’t have to drive and I can just relax.

I’ve had a series of high performance cars and I’ve learned that the only way to really enjoy them is ON THE TRACK. If they outlawed private vehicles on the road tomorrow I’d still be thrilled; I’d spend every weekend at Willow Springs.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Hear, hear!

For those nostalgia buffs longing for the days before motorcars, when everyone who was anyone rode horses, there are riding stables.

As self-driving cars become the norm, we’ll start seeing closed driving courses set up for pleasure driving off public roads.

Anyone who thinks the general public won’t welcome self-driving cars and won’t come to prefer them, is engaging very firmly indeed in wishful thinking!

bjrosen

This has to be a research vehicle, there is no way that they are putting members of the general public, either by selling it or through Lyft, into a fully autonomous car next year, it feels 10 years too soon.

Michael Will

On a controlled restricted area fleet it makes sense but there is no way they have a general end user product in the next two years.

What puzzles me the most is the interior – why would they not put a workspace in front of the front riders, the small display between empty spaces and legacy Air hole vents just looks so wasted. Maybe they need lots of airbags since they assume lots of crashes initially ?

If anything the seats should be able to turn around to face the other passengers.

How many human driven taxis have any of the features you just listed?

Dav8or

I believe London taxi cabs have reward facing seats in them. At least the ones I rode in a couple of decades ago did. The problem has traditionally been that Taxi companies have not wanted to pay the premium for specialized taxi cabs like London has and we used to have with the Checker Cab Co. Checker went out of business because cab companies figured used police cruisers worked just fine.

Since the whole point of this AV “Johnny Cab” idea is to save money by eliminating the cab driver, I suspect they will have to always base these bots on current production cars to save money as well. Not likely we will see to many custom interiors.

Brian

To me, the interior implies that they don’t intend to make the Bolt exclusively sans steering wheel – at least not yet. In the meantime, just reuse the existing dash. They already have a dash designed and suppliers lined up for this. E.g. Bolts have no steering wheel on the right in the US and none on the left in the UK. It’s the cheapest/easiest solution for now.

theflew

Airbags also protect you when people crash into you.

scott franco

“If anything the seats should be able to turn around to face the other passengers.”

I think its called something like “club seating”. There were a bunch of cars that tried that. What they found is that sitting going backwards makes people uncomfortable, because people naturally want to see where the car is going and are constantly straining to look around to the front.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“What puzzles me the most is the interior – why would they not put a workspace in front of the front riders, the small display between empty spaces and legacy Air hole vents just looks so wasted.”

That was my initial reaction, too. They eliminated the driver controls, but didn’t do anything useful with the space that freed up? What a failure of imagination!

“If anything the seats should be able to turn around to face the other passengers.”

You took the words right out of my keyboard. 🙂

WadeTyhon

They plan to launch it as a commercial product next year. They may not make the goal, but that is their plan. It doesn’t seem impossible considering employees are already using it and the press have already had demonstrations.

The general consensus from the press is it works today… but it can be occasionally jerky or slow to make decisions in bizarre situations.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gm-autonomous/gm-plans-large-scale-launch-of-self-driving-cars-in-u-s-cities-in-2019-idUSKBN1DU2H0

“General Motors Co laid out its vision for self-driving vehicles on Thursday, telling investors it planned a commercial launch of fleets of fully autonomous robo-taxis in multiple dense urban environments in 2019”

Unless there is some regulatory road block impeding things, if GM says Bolt AVs will be deployed for commercial use by 2019, Bolt AVs will be deployed in 2019. Unlike other CEOs that make outlandish promises that are consistently broken, when GM says something will get done by a certain date, it gets done.

I think the initial launch of Bolt AVs will be in just a few select markets (think San Fran in particular). Then they will slowly spread out to other markets.

WadeTyhon

As a general rule GM does have a much better track record recently than other automakers. But they aren’t infallible. Just look at the constant Supercruise delays lol

But yeah, compared to many other automakers I’m more comfortable saying “This is the release date and they intend to keep it.”

HVACman

Andrew Farah – famous as the Chief Engineer who developed and rolled out GM’s “moonshot” project gen 1 Chevy Volt on-time in Dec. 2010, is the executive Chief Engineer for the Bolt AV, too. He’ll deliver again. On-time. Drama-free.

Question: Usually, at Job 1 ceremonies, some dignitary or the CEO drives the Job 1 unit off the line. Will Bolt AV Job 1 drive ITSELF off the assembly line at its Job 1 ceremony? That will be a historic photo op!

Toss an inflatable Elon Musk doll in the driver’s….er, front right seat. That’ll make for a good photo. 😀

HVACman

Likely it will be Mary in the right front seat and Kyle Vogt, Cruise Automation CEO in the “driverless” seat. Cruise has been the absolutely best buy GM has ever made. Kyle and crew have really delivered.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well, the quote is
“If we continue on our current rate of change we will be ready to deploy this technology, in large scale, in the most complex environments, in 2019,”
The nice and vague, and says hope rather than plan.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“They plan to launch it as a commercial product next year. They may not make the goal, but that is their plan.”

It’s pretty obviously just a test market car. Clearly GM didn’t spend any money on redesigning the interior to turn it into more of a passenger lounge, which is what the cabin should be. This is just an automobile which has had the steering wheel and pedals removed.

In other words, this is just a testing fleet for autonomous driving systems. It’s not actually a car designed to take advantage of not needing a driver in the vehicle.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I wonder how this AV will react in the same scenario as the one in Vegas where the AV encountered the big rig and just stopped and sat there while the rig continued then impacted the AV.

Will it sit there like one of those petrified goats? Or will it take evasive action and get out of the way?
comment image

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Remote commands or control.

Steve

No, it will continue at a high rate of speed going right under the trailer drcapitating everyone in the bolt. chevy will deny they had any responsibility in the accident.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“chevy will deny they had any responsibility in the accident”

That would be industry standard then!

stimpy

This is lacking even more details than a tesla press release.

“This is lacking ridiculous promises that never come true usually in a tesla press release.”

FIFY

Alaa

It should charge itself. Induction charging.

Warren

I guess without a driver we will finally be able to get rid of side view mirrors?

Alaa

+1

an_outsider

Funny the Bolt EV is so close to become a fully autonomous car but it still does not offer any ACC (adaptive cruise control) in option for those human who prefer buy & own their vehicle…

Loboc

Looking from a tech/developer perspective why would GM need three different ways to do the same thing? ACC/SC/robot. I think they will dummy down full automation for guys that want the old-fashioned driver machine, but, would prevent them from running over people and other cars.

scott franco

I am reminded of the rollout of the Bart commuter train in San Fransisco. Bart trains were designed to operate without a driver. It’s on a track, how hard could it be?

On day one the train came to the end of its track. And kept going. The accident made the news, of course, and Bart trains have had drivers ever since.

Jacked Beanstalk

Nice, but I’d rather they fixed the front seats and upgraded to a fully independent suspension first.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

No.

Just outfit it with a Lazy Boy recliner that has a cup holder that fits my Beer Stein.

ffbj

..and nobody cared

Though you cared enough to comment.

Doug Bostrom

One has to wonder how these vehicles will perform in exception cases.

Down a narrow two-lane street, to find a fender-bender with drivers waiting for cops, blocking street. Is the vehicle really going to be able to cope with reversing out, particularly if that needs negotiation with other vehicles (including humans behind the wheel)?

Guessing there’ll be a port somewhere to plug in a steering wheel and pedals, for extraction operations.

Gazz

This will free up so much time. Sleeping, work emails and other tasks can be done without having your hands tied to the wheel.

Nemo

Too soon. Even in a truly autonomous car, people will want a steering wheel as a manual backup, until they feel they can completely trust the car. Which will take years (and should, too).