Menu
Google unveils prototype self-driving car, without steering wheel or brakes

Google unveils prototype self-driving car, without steering wheel or brakes

The search giant wants to make 100 initial vehicles and start a pilot program

Google showed off its prototype self-driving car on Tuesday in a video and blog post. It wants to build about 100 vehicles and start a pilot program in California

Google showed off its prototype self-driving car on Tuesday in a video and blog post. It wants to build about 100 vehicles and start a pilot program in California

It doesn't have a steering wheel, but you're supposed to feel relaxed in Google's new prototype self-driving car.

The search giant has moved into car manufacturing by unveiling a prototype driverless automobile that doesn't have an accelerator or brake pedal.

The cute two-seater has rounded styling that seems to be inspired by the classic Volkswagen Beetle, but is packed with software and sensors.

Its roof seems to be crowned by the same LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensor seen on the modified Lexus and Toyota vehicles in Google's fleet of self-driving cars.

The sensor system can detect objects at a distance of more than two football fields in all directions, eliminating blind spots.

The car, which has yet to be named, has a spare interior.

Chris Urmson, director of Google's Self-Driving Car Project, wrote in a blog post that there is "a space for passengers' belongings, buttons to start and stop and a screen that shows the route -- and that's about it."

The car's top speed is about 40 kilometers per hour.

A Google promo video on YouTube shows elderly passengers praising how the car slows down as it approaches a bend in the road before accelerating. A blind passenger also describes wanting a self-driving car.

Google said it plans to build about 100 prototype vehicles and will test-drive models with manual controls this summer. The company wants to run a small pilot program in California in the next few years. It did not indicate whether it would manufacture the car or work with carmakers to get them on the road.

It did not give a possible price for future production models of the car. Google did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

The prototype comes after years of research by Google into automated driving technologies, including thousands of kilometers of tests drives on highways and city roads.

It believes self-driving cars that will detect and avoid vehicles as well as pedestrians, cyclists and other potential hazards on the road can make driving safer.

Under May 2014 California regulations, testing of autonomous vehicles must be performed with test drivers in the vehicle's driver seat who can immediately take control. The state is developing regulations for public operation of self-driving cars, and the rules are expected to be adopted by Jan. 1, 2015.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsGooglerobotics

Featured

Slideshows

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Leading figures within the technology industry across New Zealand came together to celebrate 30 years of success for Lexel Systems, at a milestone birthday occasion at St Matthews in the City.​

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30
HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP New Zealand held an inaugural Evolve Education event at Aotea Centre in Auckland, welcoming over 70 principals, teachers and education experts to explore ways of shaping and enhancing learning using technology.

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch
Reseller News ICT Industry Awards 2017 - Meet the winners...

Reseller News ICT Industry Awards 2017 - Meet the winners...

Reseller News honoured the industry’s finest on a standout evening for the New Zealand channel, recognising the achievements of established and emerging partners on a memorable night in Auckland.

Reseller News ICT Industry Awards 2017 - Meet the winners...
Show Comments