Google now makes cars, the cute, self-driving type

May 28, 2014

Google is taking over the future, one application at the time.

Today, from the not-Android-but-mind-blowing department, we have the first self-driving car designed from the ground up by Google. Yes, it looks like something a cartoon character would get around in, but what really matters is what’s on the inside or, better said, what isn’t.

There’s no steering wheel, no pedals, no shift stick, not even a rearview mirror, because why would you need it when the car does all the driving?

Google self-driving car prototype

Google self-driving car prototype

Google has long been working on self-driving cars, but until now it used regular cars like Toyota Prius hybrids or Lexus SUVs modified with a self-driving system. This completely new model was designed and built in-house by Google as a prototype, and the company wants to manufacture about 100 units in the following months.

Google self-driving car concept

Google self-driving car concept

Following a test period that will see pilots “drive” versions with manual controls, Google hopes it’ll be able to let a limited number of cars roam on their own on California’s roads within the next two years.

For now, the car is limited to 25mph (40km/h) and the interior is mostly empty. There’s not much to look at because Google just wants to introduce the concept and prove that it’s feasible and, more importantly, safe.

More details on Google’s blog post and in this preview from Re/code.

Comments

  • Shark Bait

    2011 Google gets into the Mobile hardware game
    2013 Google gets into the robot game
    2014 Google gets into the automotive game

    What will they do next?
    Pretty good for an advertising company

  • venorme

    It`s not about Google making cars – it`s about Google pushing real car manufactures to make better cars. Like with nexus line, Google makes OEM to innovate to keep up. Now companies like mercedes will have to take technology into real cars just to keep market

    • renz

      google pushing real car maker into making better car? i don’t think so. this isn’t like nexus at all. what google wants is self driving car not competing on the spec aspect (be it performance or car tech used). surely google not aiming to sell car with ferrari spec with the price of you regular sedan.

  • Luka Mlinar

    That is hands down the cutest car i have ever seen.

  • Anonymousfella

    They have the technology but convincing the authorities/regulatory bodies will be the tougher thing to do

    • KUSH

      On the contrary. These days its very easy to buy your agenda with congress and local political officials. Especially if you have pockets as big as google.

      • Anonymousfella

        True.I had forgotten that angle…I was thinking more about the mentality of people.They tend to dislike things which they cant control

    • Dale Weide

      I’ve read our California reps are already looking at making the proper legislation.

      • Anonymousfella

        Oh i see. i was thinking more about the EU. California might be a bit more accomodating. Can’t say about the other states…

  • frhow

    Still cant see this being feasible but I hope that it does. I just cant imagine that they have accounted for ALL of the different scenarios that could cause a wreck. They should give some control to the driver in case a quick move is needed to be made that that car cant see.

    • renz

      well just imagine when the computer system get malfunction. with no steering no break pedal what so ever how the passenger are going to stop the car? i’m not paranoid but taking away all the control from the user (or driver) doesn’t look like a smart decision to me.

  • Fauzan Adhi Rachman

    Where is that toy story picture ?

  • mohd sultan

    wtf the google cannot do tell me!!!!!!
    After 5 years google will know when you need to go to toilet!!!!!!!!lol:D

  • Fievel

    I watch the HBO show Silicon Valley. I know this doesn’t end well.

  • Pablo

    Google development another mini-car!)) http://bit.ly/1nVzPVI

  • Christopher Linnett

    Wouldnt a better idea be to build conversion kits to make any car like this? Im sure people would be more likely to add one to their existing car than to buy a car made by google

  • PitStop Tyres

    I don’t think I will ever buy a car like that? I’ll definitely go for cars like BMW z4, free and easy, in the wind, in the wind.

    Online tyre shops in singapore