General Motors and its self-driving technology unit (Cruise) have filed a petition seeking approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to build and deploy the Cruise Origin self-driving vehicle into commercial service, according to a blog by Cruise.
The Cruise Origin is an electric shared vehicle that can operate safely without human controls like a steering wheel.
NHTSA can grant petitions to allow a limited number of vehicles (without human controls) to temporarily operate on U.S. roads. Under current law, companies can ask for an exemption from motor vehicle safety standards for up to 2,500 vehicles for up to two years.
“This petition both demonstrates how the Origin achieves safety objectives of existing standards and helps enable future AV regulations,” said Cruise in the blog post. “NHTSA has made clear in public testimony and regulatory actions that in order to consider the development of AV standards, they first need more information from real-world AV operations. We believe this petition can help enable that outcome.”
Expected to start production in late 2022, GM plans to start delivery of Origin vehicles in 2023, according to Cruise.
“The submission of this petition signals that Cruise and GM are ready to build and deploy the Origin, here in America,” said Cruise in the blog post. “We look forward to NHTSA’s thorough review of our petition and stand ready to continue working closely with them to ensure the safe and responsible deployment of this technology.”