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General Motors reveals autonomous car with no steering wheel

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The Chevy Bolt-based Cruise EV has not steering wheel, pedals or gear selector.

The Chevy Bolt-based Cruise EV has not steering wheel, pedals or gear selector.  (GM)

General Motors is looking to reinvent the wheel, by building a car without a steering wheel, pedals or gear selector, because it doesn’t need them.

The automaker on Friday revealed images of an autonomous car it’s hoping to put into production by 2019 and is petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for permission to do so.

If approved, it will likely be the first production vehicle of its kind to hit the road, two years before a similar proposal from Ford.

Based on the Chevy Bolt, the electric Cruise AV will initially be employed in a ride-hailing capacity and operate within a pre-determined, well-mapped ‘geo-fenced’ area, so it won’t be entirely off the leash.

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A version of the car with driver controls is currently being tested on public roads.  (AP)

Versions of the car with driver controls are currently being tested in San Francisco and Phoenix. They feature a large array of sensors on the roof that will be engineered to pass crash tests with the rest of the vehicle.

The Cruise AV is designed to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or other manual controls when it goes on the road in 2019.

Display screens will allow the Cruise AV to communicate with its occupants.  (GM)

In a report about the project, GM details how the cars will be summoned by an app that automatically sets their climate controls and audio systems to the user’s preferences. Along with a display on the center stack, there are infotainment screens in the headrests of the front seats for rear passengers to use.

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Passengers will be able to stop the car on command in the event of an emergency.  (GM)

Riders will be able to communicate with a call center with issues, and there are buttons that will stop the vehicle and allow them to exit in the event of an emergency.

And the car doesn’t just drive itself, if you forget to close the door behind you it’ll do that itself without complaint before heading off to pick up another fare.

CHEVROLET BOLT TEST DRIVE:

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is the first affordable electric car that can go the distance, but is that enough to keep up with Tesla?

Gary Gastelu is Foxnews.com's Automotive Editor. Follow him on Twitter @garygastelu

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