Google makes self-drive cars
Google is building around 100 purpose-made self-driving cars – to add to its fleet of converted standard vehicles.
The vehicles will be very basic, and will not have a steering wheel, or control pedals.
“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,” said the firm. “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.”
Sensors remove blind spots, said the firm, and they can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions.
Speed in the first ones is capped at 25mph.
Although these are essentially research prototypes, they have been designed deliberately to look cute, and still have a space for passengers’ belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route, alongside two seats with seat belts.
Initial vehicles will also have manual controls for road testing.
Indications are that Google does not intend to become a car maker, but does intend to take development on with partners.