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

May 28, 2014
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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.

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