Last week, General Motors shocked the industry—and probably Waymo the most—when it revealed the fourth-generation Cruise Autonomous Vehicle (AV). The self-driving car lacked some standard-issue equipment that really made for headlines, however: no steering wheel or pedals.
With the announcement of the self-driving car, GM also confirmed it had submitted a Safety Petition to the Department of Transportation for permission to deploy the Cruise AV in 2019. Right now, the Cruise AV does not meet federal standards for testing or deployment, since there are no driver controls onboard.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told the Associated Press that the government will review the request “carefully and responsibly” and acknowledged technology advancements will leave regulators no choice but to dive into the blooming self-driving car segment.
“It is now coming to the stage with the rapid advancement of self-driving technology that this request is now a reality,” she said.
So far, the U.S. government hasn’t reconciled any new legislation to promote self-driving car development. Chao’s department revealed new guidelines last year, but a House bill remains stalled in the Senate. Additionally, a self-driving car council in the Trump administration, led by GM CEO Mary Barra, was reportedly inactive as of August 2017.