Google has showcased its ability to build a new car, which it sent rolling on the streets. Google announced its latest innovation with its self-driving car that has no seat for a driver or a steering wheel.
Sergey Brin, CEO Google unveiled this new prototype that comes with only two seats, and runs on a technology dependent on built-in sensors, lasers, camera data and a software system that will navigate the vehicle safely. The car has no brake pedals, accelerator or steering wheel. This was revealed during an interview at Recode Code Conference in Palos Verdes, Calif.
This two-seater has a snubbed smiley face front, which is made out of a soft foam-like material with its windshields made out of plastic instead of the regular glass. This will help lessen the damage to both passengers and pedestrians in the case of an accident.
This car is an extension to the company's driverless car project. Google wanted to make self-driving cars safer than the ones driven by humans and that was the company's role, Brin said. Though there were no crashes during its testing phase, the car can only be driven at a speed of 25 miles per hour, increasing the reaction time in case of an accident. The car is designed in such a way, that there is no human interference in driving the vehicle.
During its designing process, Google prioritized on the safety feature of the vehicle, Chris Urmson, director of Self-Driving Car Project said in a post on the official blog. He underlined that the sensors of the car "can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions" and it is helpful in tackling the intersection of roads or busy streets.
Though the car is not designed for luxury, it certainly has the necessary things that a car must have to house passengers - two seats with seatbelts, space for belongings, start and stop buttons and a screen showing the car's route.
"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," added Urmson. He promised that by 2017, the company will have kick-started a small pilot program in California that will allow these self-driving cars on the main streets.
He also said that the company was open to work with partners in order to bring this technology to the world. The car has already logged in 700,000 miles of public roads in autonomous mode.
Sharing his excitement Urmson noted: "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," BBC reported.
Currently only three states in U.S. allow operation of autonomous cars that includes Nevada, Florida and California, but apart from Nevada, other two have given the green signal only for the testing of such vehicles.
The autonomous car project is also been envisioned by other auto industry majors like Nissan, General Motors, Continental, Ford Motor Co and Tesla, CNET reported.
Supporters of such types of cars explain that they are not only safer but will lessen pollution and revolutionize transport industry.
(YouTube Courtesy: Google Self-Driving Car Project)