GM announced a particularly smart drone back in 2018. It had to become so capable, and its creators so confident of its potential, that they stripped it of its controls. But the U.S. highway Department has not yet evaluated the initiative of the concern.
Looks ultramodern drone from GM named Cruise AV almost the same as a regular car: the fact that the basis for its creation was the serial electric car Chevrolet Bolt. The only visible difference is the lack of steering and pedals, as the car was supposed to be completely Autonomous.
In order to ensure the potential of the project, its creators need to bring it to the "full-scale" tests. And this requires the approval of regulators, in particular, the American National highway traffic administration. Meanwhile, the legal conflict that the Agency had to face was extremely unusual, and the NHTSA can not make a final decision for more than a year.
According to Reuters, the issue of continuing the project is already being decided at the level of the head of General Motors and the U.S. Secretary of transportation. However, in order for a drone to be approved for access to the roads, those who have the right to make decisions must make sure it is safe. In addition, it is necessary to resolve a number of other issues, including the one that prevents the active use of unmanned vehicles – who will be responsible in the event of an accident. The current rules that oblige drone testers to be behind the wheel and control the traffic situation simply do not work for a clear reason – due to the lack of steering.
GM is hopeful that it will be able to get regulatory approval within the next year. This will allow the concern to build an entire test fleet and begin the active testing phase of Cruise. It is possible that the drones will begin to create a new segment of transport – robotaxi.