General Motors aims to expand its autonomous vehicles fleet by building in the US

The firm seeks to extend new mobility options to people struggling for reliable transportation.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Cruise OriginCruise

The future of vehicles is autonomous and it's not only Tesla that is working on self-driving systems.

Last Friday, General Motors and its self-driving technology division Cruise petitioned U.S. regulators for the right to engineer a self-driving vehicle without human controls and put it on American roads, according to a blog by Cruise.

The move, if approved, may spell a big step forward for autonomous driving technology everywhere.

A petition filed

"Cruise has taken a big step toward our vision of a safer, more sustainable and accessible transportation future. Together with General Motors, we have filed a petition seeking approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to build and put the Cruise Origin into commercial service," said Cruise's blog.

Cruise went on to note how it hoped to offer mobility options for people who have struggled with reliable transportation such as seniors and the blind. Cruise also hopes to reduce the country's reliance on oil and emissions by putting on the streets the Origin, a zero-emission, shared, electric vehicle without human controls like steering wheels or brake pedals.

Since the Origin will be manufactured at General Motors' Michigan Factory ZERO, the firm will also create American jobs and promote economic development. In addition, throughout the petition, General Motors and Cruise focused heavily on safety declaring that it was their "mission."

Six guiding principles

Overall, the firm and its self-driving unit outlined how they were driven by the desire to do better environmentally and socially. "In the spirit of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s six guiding principles for work on innovation in transportation, the Origin is in service of something greater: driving environmental sustainability, ensuring U.S. leadership in developing and manufacturing autonomous technology and artificial intelligence, supporting the American workforce, and promoting accessibility," said the blog.

This isn't General Motor's first petition to the NHTSA. Back in 2018, the firm petitioned the organization to allow another car without steering wheels or brake pedals on U.S. roads but withdrew the petition in a matter of two years. If the NHTSA approves this latest request, it could revolutionize the future of self-driving technology by allowing autonomous systems to be trialed directly in cities around America.

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