Google Announced Prototype of Self-Driving Car
Google is taking the next step with it's autonomous car technology by announcing their own prototype of a self-driving vehicle. The Google self-driving car, which looks like a cross between the MINI Cooper and a Volkswagen Beetle, has no steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal. All you have to do is get in, push a button, and the car will take you to your destination.
"Ever since we started the Google self-driving car project, we've been working toward the goal of vehicles that can shoulder the entire burden of driving," wrote Chris Urmson, director of Google's Self-Driving Car Project. "Just imagine: You can take a trip downtown at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking. Seniors can keep their freedom even if they can't keep their car keys. And drunk and distracted driving? History."
The Google car is equipped with sensors that remove blind spots and detect object detection as far out as a football field. With speed capped at 25 mph it’s clear that safety is a priority. Google plans to build about 100 prototypes for extensive testing. Later this summer, Google safety drivers will begin testing early versions of the prototypes that will include manual controls. Google then has plans to eventually run a small pilot test program in California.
Take a look at the video Google posted of volunteers taking a ride in the self-driving vehicle.