Google’s new car has no steering wheel or pedals

Google’s new car has no steering wheel or pedals

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Yep you read that right, Google’s new car has no steering wheel or pedals and can take you to your location at the push of the button. 2 years ago Google’s self-driving technology passed it’s driving test  with a modified Toyota Prius that guides itself using GPS and laser sensing technology mounted on the roof. Google revealed a new prototype on Tuesday led by CEO Sergey Brin during an onstage interview at the Recode Code Conference in Palos Verdes, California. that is set to change the automotive world.

[Image Source: Google]

The car has been built from scratch with the purpose of being a self-driving car – no modified standard vehicles this time round. There is no steering wheel or accelerator or brake pedals and the bubble like car has 2 seats inside its compact shell. “We took a look from the ground up of what a self-driving car would look like,” Brin said.

The car has a sort of city centre vehicle look about it with friendly and inviting aesthetics to try to ease the fear of self driving robotic cars – it even looks, happy. The technology has clocked over 700 000 miles and in that time it has only experienced two incidents and these were of human error from another vehicle.

The new prototype is currently only available in California and you can summon it using your smartphone. You set the destination into your device and the car takes you there without any further interaction. Once inside you are greeted with a small screen showing the weather, the current speed and route information and there is an emergency stop button if need be – of course it’s red.

[Image Source: Google]

Powered by an electric motor with around a 100 mile range it is currently limited to 25 mph meaning it is restricted from certain roads. The compact bubble like design means that there are no blind spots for the sensing technology and is also designed to be as safe as possible should the unfortunate event of hitting a pedestrian arises. The car uses GPS as a rough position locator as well as a route navigator. The rest is down to point radar, lasers and cameras which act as the cars eyes in a 360 degree view field.

The brains of the car is found in the software that analyses the feedback from the sensory system. It is able to detect other cars, pedestrians, road markings and traffic lights and can even handle complex situations such as road works, diversions and cyclist behavior. 

[Image Source: Google]

We’re really excited about this vehicle – it’s something that will allow us to really push the capabilities of self driving technology, and understand the limitations,” said Chris Urmson, director of the company’s self-driving project.

The new prototype is set to make a science fiction dream a reality and also leaves us wondering; Will cars still require insurance if they continue their flawless record? How are traffic police going to fund themselves without any speeders on the roads? And what if I want to race that guy next to me?

Google says the car should be seen on the roads in just one year and a manufacturer in Detroit is set to produce 100 of the cars but Google has yet to release any further details on this.