US to ‘carefully’ consider GM petition to test self-driving car

US to ‘carefully’ consider GM petition to test self-driving car
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The federal government says it will “carefully” review a petition from General Motors to deploy a fleet of self-driving vehicles, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoTrump administration cancels 9M for high-speed rail in California US halts flights to Venezuela Melania Trump expands mission of 'Be Best' on its one-year anniversary MORE said Sunday. 

GM said last week it had filed for government approval to deploy the Cruise AV, a fully autonomous car that has no steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator. The company is hoping to add the car to its self-driving rideshare fleet by 2019.

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“It is now coming to the stage with the rapid advancement of self-driving technology that this request is now a reality,” Chao said at the Detroit Auto Show, according to Agence France-Presse

“We will view the petition carefully and responsibly,” Chao added. 

GM unveiled the Cruise AV on Friday. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last week that it had received the petition and would review it and “give it careful consideration.”

"It's quite a striking image when people see it for the first time," General Motors President Dan Ammann told AFP at an event on Saturday.

"I think people will want to engage with the technology and understand it and experience it," Ammann added.

Granting the request would mean exempting GM from federal standards specific to human-operated vehicles. These include, for instance, having an airbag in the place where a driver’s seat would typically be located.