GM unveils new self-driving car with no pedals and no steering wheel

January 12, 2018 by  
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You won’t need a steering wheel in the autonomous cars of the future. General Motors (GM) just brought us a little closer to this bold new reality with the Cruise AV. It lacks that apparatus along with pedals and manual controls – and they’d like to see the driverless cars on the roads next year. GM’s Cruise AV could hit the streets as soon as 2019. They’ve filed a safety petition with the Department of Transportation for their fourth-generation of the car. The company says the Cruise AV is the “first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals, or manual controls.” Related: Toyota’s ultra customizable self-driving vehicle can transport people, goods, or services GM said they spent hours of real-world testing to develop the Cruise AV. The car company acquired LIDAR technology company Strobe last fall, with Strobe’s engineers joining GM’s Cruise Automation team to develop the technology for self-driving cars. The car is equipped with advanced sensor systems and has two main computer systems, so if the primary computer fails the secondary system can jump in. A crash-imminent braking system also serves as a backup, ready to hit the brakes if needed. “Our Cruise AV has the potential to provide a level of safety far beyond the capabilities of humans,” GM said in their 2018 Self-Driving Safety Report . GM says all their autonomous vehicles will be electric . They paint a vision of a world free of car crashes – since human driver error is “the primary cause of 94 percent of crashes,” according to GM , their driverless cars could help pave the way for safer road travel. They’re also marketing self-driving cars as offering mobility no matter a person’s age or physical capabilities. You can read GM’s 2018 Self-Driving Safety Report here . Via General Motors ( 1 , 2 , 3 ) Images via General Motors ( 1 , 2 ) and Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors

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GM unveils new self-driving car with no pedals and no steering wheel

Brilliant diamond highway interchange eliminates dangerous lefthand turns

May 26, 2016 by  
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Just about every time we drive, we’re forced to make left turns, risking head-on or 90-degree collisions with cars coming from the opposite direction. An innovative new highway interchange significantly reduces this risk. Called a diverging diamond, this design allows drivers to avoid the hazardous turns altogether. Diverging diamond interchanges may appear complicated at first glance, but research reveals that drivers consistently navigate them with few issues. Roads cross each other so drivers on the right hand side of the road cross to the left and vice versa. Therefore, drivers on a diverging diamond interchange don’t have to turn against traffic when they go left; they simply merge away to the left. The roads cross again further down the street after left turns for both sides. Drivers entering the interchange simply merge left or right, and only have to worry about oncoming traffic from one direction instead of two. Related: Germany opens the first 3 miles of a 60-mile bicycle superhighway France constructed some diverging diamond highways in the 1970’s, but they didn’t really catch on in America until a graduate student named Gilbert Chlewicki wrote about the design in 2000 and realized his idea had already been implemented overseas. Nearly a decade later, diverging diamonds began to gain popularity as states such as Missouri and Utah adopted the concept. Wired reports that since 2009 , 22 states have built 62 of these innovative, safe roads. Research shows they work. University of Missouri engineers, along with colleagues around America, performed ” the first in-depth safety analyses ” in 2015. These are the stats: five out of seven intersections experienced ” serious safety improvements .” Deadly crashes occurring on terminal ramps declined by more than 60 percent. And crashes that do occur don’t result in death as often. The team estimated that crashes overall on the new safe roads are reduced by 33 percent. Via Wired Images via screenshot

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Brilliant diamond highway interchange eliminates dangerous lefthand turns

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