Google Rolls Out New Self-Driving Car

Google Car has a cute cartoon like face and has no manual controls.

Google Car has a cute cartoon like face and has no manual controls.
credit: Google Blog

Google’s self-driving cars will be based on its designs, rather than modifying cars built by other manufacturers, the tech giant announced at the Recode conference.

Google showed off its new model—a two-seater with a friendly face. The car has no bonnet and looks like a character out of cartoon movies.

The car will be controlled by on-board computers and will have a stop-go button. Initially the speed of the Google Car will be limited to 40 kmh for safety reasons.  Google Car will use video cameras and sensors integrated with on-board computers to control its movement.

Unlike the earlier versions of its self-driving cars, the new model, when commercially launched, will not have steering wheels or pedals, the BBC reported. Earlier models of the Google Car were built by Toyota and Lexus, and the search engine giant had modified the vehicles with the self-driving technology.

However, the test-models, which the company plans to launch as part of a pilot project in early summer in California will have manual controls.

“We’re planning to build about a hundred prototype vehicles, and later this summer, our safety drivers will start testing early versions of these vehicles that have manual controls. If all goes well, we’d like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years,” Chris Urmson, director of the company’s self-driving project wrote in a blogpost.

Google had announced its ambitious self-driving car project from Google X, a division headed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The project is in a prototype phase says Google, but once commercially launched could turn a science fiction dream into reality.

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