Google recently introduced a 2 seater prototype that showcases a minimalistic design and envisions what the engineers see as the car of the future. According to Sergey Brin, Google co-founder:
The project is about changing the world for people who are not well-served by transportation today.
The first thing that stands out when looking at the concept car is what it misses:
- No steering wheel
- No break pedal
- No accelerator pedal
- No glove compartment
- No stereo
- No backseat
- No mirrors
Google believes that this self driving vehicle is what the vision holds in store for us. The company stated that it wants the vehicle on the streets as soon as possible. Tests are scheduled in California this summer and a minimum of 100 prototypes are scheduled to be built in the next 2 years. Volunteer “drivers” are welcomed when the entire system is seen as being safe.
The Google car is advertised as self driving and uses different sensors in order to get passengers from point A to point B. The problem is that the maximum speed is 25 miles per hour. Company engineers believe that this is a safe speed so that accidents would not cause fatalities. In the event of a malfunction, a backup braking and steering system will be activated automatically.
At first glance the self driving car from Google may seem weird but the video below shows us a first run with people that are not involved in the project:
We will have to wait and see if Google will manage to actually get these cars on the road. As expected, many problems can appear so an official timeline for production was not released. However, Google does seem to be keen on mass manufacture through partnerships with interested partners.