Cruise files NHTSA review as it seeks US approval for self-driving vehicle

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Cruise, together with General Motors, is seeking US approval of its Origin self-driving vehicle, having filed a petition seeking approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to build and put the robotaxi into commercial service.

The Cruise Origin is a zero-emission, shared, electric vehicle that has been purposefully designed from the ground up to operate without a human driver. It does not rely on traditional HMI features like a steering wheel or a sun visor to operate safely.

Cruise and GM say the petition demonstrates how the Origin achieves the safety objectives of existing standards and helps enable future AV regulations. NHTSA has made clear in public testimony and regulatory actions that in order to consider the development of AV standards, it first needs more information from real-world AV operations. The two companies believe the petition can help enable that outcome, with knowledge from the Origin, which is designed to improve overall road safety, helping to inform the creation of new, updated regulations and standards.

In the spirit of the US Department of Transportation’s six guiding principles for work on innovation in transportation, Cruise and GM claim the Origin will also help drive environmental sustainability, ensure US leadership in developing and manufacturing autonomous technology and artificial intelligence, support the American workforce and promote accessibility.

Every Origin will be a zero-emission, shared, electric vehicle – helping to reduce the USA’s reliance on oil, as well as the emissions that disproportionately burden historically underserved communities. The Origin will help expand mobility options for seniors, people who are blind or have low vision, and other communities that have traditionally faced barriers in access to reliable transportation. And the Origin will be manufactured at GM’s Factory ZERO in Michigan, supporting and creating American jobs and promoting economic growth.

“The submission of this petition signals that Cruise and GM are ready to build and deploy the Origin, here in America,” said a statement on Cruise’s website. “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.”

Earlier this month (February 2022), Kyle Vogt, Cruise’s co-founder and interim chief executive, announced that the company was “opening up our driverless cars in San Francisco to the public”, following several months of employee testing of its ride-hail service, for which it was first granted a permit in October 2020.

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With over 20 years experience in editorial management and content creation for multiple, market-leading titles at UKi Media & Events (publisher of Autonomous Vehicle International), Anthony has written articles and news covering everything from aircraft, airports and cars, to cruise ships, trains, trucks and even tires!

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