For years Google has been developing self-driving cars and now has gone one better in assembling its own prototype.
The vehicle doesn’t resemble a Prius or other Toyota or Lexus product, and in fact, it has no steering wheel, gas or brake pedal.
Thus there is no driver required, but rather occupants are treated to a ride in the sensor-laden autonomous car Google says is designed with safety in mind.
The sensors “remove blind spots” and can detect objects more than two football fields away in all directions.
“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,” says Google in its official blog. “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.”
Plans are to build around 100 cars for a pilot project beginning later this summer. Some of its drivers will test versions equipped with manual controls as well.
This first car has a maximum speed of 25 mph. It’s a basic set of wheels with a very sophisticated drive system, and one more milestone step towards autonomous drive which visionaries say will come sooner or later.