“Imagine a world with no car crashes,” says General Motors in a statement outlining the company’s vision of the driverless automotive culture of the future.
“Our self-driving vehicles aim to eliminate human driver error – the primary cause of 94 percent of crashes — leading to fewer injuries and fatalities.
“Imagine widespread use of electric-only vehicles, reducing vehicle emissions. Our self-driving vehicles will all be electric, contributing to a better environment.
“Imagine not sitting in traffic for what feels like half your life. And imagine a crowded city not filled with congested roads and parking lots and structures but with efficiently moving traffic and more space.”
GM points out that “nearly one of three cars” on city streets at any given time is simply looking for parking. Our technology will create better use of time and space. For everyone.
“Imagine the peace of mind knowing that whatever our age, our stage of life or our physical capabilities we have the freedom to go wherever we want to go. Our self-driving vehicles will improve access to mobility for those who currently cannot drive due to age, disability, or otherwise.”
GM says that the pathway to get all of us to this world requires integrating the software expertise of Silicon Valley with the systems safety and manufacturing expertise of Detroit and our teams around the world.
“With safety at the core, we are ready to take the next step.”
On the way to a world with zero car crashes, GM says it is continuing to learn from the on-road experiences of our self-driving test vehicles.
As we move closer to commercialization, more of our test vehicles will be on the roads continuing to gain experience in dense urban environments.
Each of GM’s current test vehicles has human driver controls and a human driver known as an “autonomous vehicle trainer”, or AVT, in the driver’s seat.
It also has an additional support AVT in the front passenger seat.
“We will operate our self-driving vehicles with AVTs until they are capable of safe, fully driverless operation,” says the company.
“We continue to maintain a rigorous focus on safety in the design and development of our self-driving technology and all our operations, including AVT training and operating procedures.”