Google designs and builds its first self-driving vehicle

By Michael Uribe

Today Google has decided to show off its new prototype self-driving vehicles. The vehicles are designed to operate safely and autonomously with no input needed from the driver. The car itself, which looks a bit reminiscent of a BMW i3, lacks a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedals. Users just push a button and they are on their way while the car’s software and sensors do all the work. The car is powered by an electric motor that can carry two passengers at a time up to 25 mph.

google car 1

Safety is the main concern for these driverless vehicles. Blind spots are a thing of the past thanks to a variety of sensors which can detect objects out to a distance of more than 200 meters in all directions. The inside of the vehicle is not designed for luxury or comfort but for safety and learning. Inside the two passenger car you will find two seats with seatbelts, a space for personal belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route.

Google is planning to build about a hundred of these prototype vehicles later this summer. The early versions for testing will include manual controls, as required by law.  Google says that if all goes well they would like to run a small pilot program in California in the next couple of years. They hope with this technology they can eliminate drunk and distracted driving, give seniors their freedom back, help those disabled get to where they need to go, and many other issues that arise behind the wheel.

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