GM has filed a petition to the DOT to get permissions to deploy a fully autonomous version of its electric Chevy Bolt as early as 2019.
In the petition, they have filed a lengthy report to make their case for the safety of the car (embedded below).
The report outlines the safety and redundancy features of the car, how it will be built, how it will react to pedestrians, and more.
If this comes to pass, it will represent a huge leap in the race to full autonomy. Tesla is currently the leader of partial autonomy on open roads, while Waymo leads the way in full autonomy in a geofenced area. GM does have an excellent implementation called Super Cruise in the Cadillac CT6, which allows the car to drive itself at a higher level than Tesla's autopilot without touching the steering wheel, though it is limited to premapped highways, which means if the highway changes, Super Cruise will not work there until it is mapped again.
Tesla had previously planned on making a cross country test run with no driver input at the end of last year, but that has been delayed with no new date given, and Autopilot, while extremely useful, is nowhere near ready for people to take their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road.
Do you think full autonomy will happen as early as next year with GM in the lead?