Alright guys, Google has demonstrated its own autonomous car, a design that does away with all conventional controls including the steering wheel.
The company had for several years been testing cars equipped with sensors, navigation equipment and computers to drive themselves and was developing a prototype that will have no facility for a human to take control, other than an emergency stop button.
The toy-like concept vehicle has two seats, a screen displaying the route and a top speed of 40km/h (25mph). An array of sensors allows the vehicle’s computer to determine its location and surroundings and it can “see” several hundred meters, according to Google.
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.
We’re planning to build about a hundred prototype vehicles, and later this summer, our safety drivers will start testing early versions of these vehicles that have manual controls. If all goes well, we’d like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years. We’re going to learn a lot from this experience, and if the technology develops as we hope, we’ll work with partners to bring this technology into the world safely.
Fully autonomous driving has always been the goal of our project, because we think this could improve road safety and help lots of people who can’t drive.
I don’t like the idea of a self-driving vehicle. For me, it’s all about that control over the machine, the shifting, the gas pedal, a little drift… So I’m not really ecstatic about this but it has benefits. What do you guys think?