Google to develop self-driving cars

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Last Updated: May 29, 2014

After its controversial Glass, Google has set its eyes on making its own self-driving cars.

This car won’t have any pedals, controls, or even steering wheel. It will just have a stop and go button.

The car doesn’t look anything like the futuristic cars featured in sci-fi movies. It has friendly, city car façade to make people accept the concept of self-driving cars in the near future.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin showed this plan during a conference in California.

Google self-driving project director Chris Urmson said they are very excited about this car, because it will promote self-driving technologies, and find out its limitations. This will transform mobility, improving people’s lives, he said.

Just to balance the project, there are researchers in this division who are looking for the possible disadvantages of self-driving technologies. One of the major downsides they saw is a possibility of a heavier traffic and worse urban sprawl because people will be taking longer commutes since they don’t have another technology working for them.

Google released an early look of the car. It looks very unconventional without the typical front hood snout and its wheels are placed in the corners. The cartoon-looking car can carry only two people, and it can only run 25 mph to be safe. The most notable design of the car is its lack of steering wheel and other control devices, only the go and stop button.

During the early testing, drivers will have extra controls in case of emergencies. But ultimately, the car will use radar and laser sensors complemented with cameras to drive on its own. The car will depend on the road maps by Google designed specifically for this program.

According to the company, it has tested the car on 700,000 miles on public roads to address the problems of traffic. The company will be releasing a pilot fleet consisting of 200 cars, which will be in Detroit.

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