London: Google recently announced it will start building its self-driving car, and it plans to have the revolutionary vehicles on road within a year.
Future tech? Google’s self-driving car. Pic/AFP
Co-founder Sergey Brin unveiled the car — equipped with only a stop/go button and is capable of reaching up to speeds of 25 mph — at a conference in California.
Rather than reworking an existing car, the tech giant has built its own model and is working on around 100 prototypes to test out later this summer. The goal is for the car to ‘shoulder the entire burden of driving.’
Pictures show the car has been designed with a friendly face, to give it a non-threatening appearance and help people accept the new technology. A company video also showed test subjects taking a spin in the car, and their delighted reactions of being transported without the need to control the car.
“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,” project director Chris Urmson wrote in a blog post.
He said the prototypes in the works are designed to operate safely and without requiring human control.
“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,” he wrote, adding that they will only have a stop/go button and a screen showing the route.