Google CEO Sergey Brin unveiled their autonomous car yesterday along with some video of regular folks and their first impressions.
This isn’t a regular manufacturers car that’s been modified to become autonomous, but a car built entirely by Google. This fully-functioning prototype has no steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator pedal so those security blankets are completely gone.
Instead, what it has is a happy little bubble of a design with two seats including seat belts, some space for your stuff, a start/stop button, and a screen to show you the destination and route. That’s all.
The outside of the car looks a lot more like a traditional car, except for the spinning sensors on the roof that look for all the world like they belongs on the top of a lighthouse. The sensors eliminate blind spots and can detect objects more than two football fields away in every direction helping make the autonomous car safe. They’ve also capped the speed in the prototype to 25 MPH.
Google plans to build 100 autonomous car prototypes and test them over the summer with manual controls. If all things go as expected, a few years down the line they’ll be running pilot programs with the cars in California.
Not only could this program result in autonomous cars that make driving safer, but they’ll also make driving possible for those who are impaired and can’t currently drive a car.
Here’s Google’s autonomous car in action…
And check out the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class driving itself…
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.