Google’s incredible self-driving car project has taken its next step, with Google unveiling a prototype that does not have brakes nor a steering wheel, thus putting 100 percent of the burden of driving on the car.
Reads Google’s release:
“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.
We’re now exploring what fully self-driving vehicles would look like by building some prototypes; they’ll be designed to operate safely and autonomously without requiring human intervention. They won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal… because they don’t need them. Our software and sensors do all the work. The vehicles will be very basic–we want to learn from them and adapt them as quickly as possible–but they will take you where you want to go at the push of a button. And that’s an important step toward improving road safety and transforming mobility for millions of people. ”
The cars feature sensors that can detect objects in all directions as far out as 240 yards, and the original prototypes can only go 25 mph as Google has capped the speeds.
Over 100 prototypes will be built and over the summer, new models with manual controls will be built for Google drivers to test with.