Google develops fully autonomous, self-driving prototype

Google develops fully autonomous, self-driving prototype image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: | posted May 29, 2014 08:45

No steering wheels and pedals, it only has a stop and go button.

Back in 2012, Google experimented on fitting production vehicles with a self-driving system.  A Toyota Prius, a Lexus RX and an Audi TT were issued red license plates by the state to give is access to the roads of Nevada for testing.

Now, Google has taken their effort cross-country to Michigan and are developing a four-wheeled driverless vehicle from the ground up.  Rumors that they are working with Michigan-based automotive company Roush have neither been confirmed nor denied by both parties.

Photos and minor details of the Google prototype have surfaced.  The car will have a stop/go button but no pedals and steering wheel making it entirely autonomous. 

"They won't have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal... because they don't need them," said Google in a statement.

The 2-seater prototype will be a totally new car and not based on any existing production model.  It will have a maximum speed of 40 kilometers per hour.

Despite the lack of any form of control for passengers, Google’s top priority was safety and has made it a point to put powerful sensors that ‘remove blind spots’ and ‘can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions.’

It has a face-like façade that makes it very appealing and easy-on-the-eyes.

Google plans to have 100 prototypes undergoing testing in a few months and be available to the public by 2020.