Google is taking drivers out of the cars equation with a fleet of 100 self-driving cars that the company plans to release to the public “over the next few years,” according to The Daily Dot.
Google’s driverless car prototypes will not have a steering wheel, an accelerator, or a brake pedal. Instead, it has a software sensor that does all the decision-making instead of the traditional flesh-and-blood driver. The sensor responds to start and stop buttons in the car.
The car’s sensors can remove blind spots and detect objects nearly 600 feet in front of it, which Google points out can be very useful on busy streets with lots of intersections.
So how does it work without any of the basic controls of a traditional car? Just input your destination into an app.
On its official blog, Google outlined the benefits of taking the driving out of human operators’ hands.
Just imagine: You can take a trip downtown at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking. Seniors can keep their freedom even if they can’t keep their car keys. And drunk and distracted driving? History.
Google admits the car is “light on creature comforts” when it comes to the inside. The car’s interior has two seats, a space for passengers’ stuff, and a screen that displays the route.
But if you’re a driver with a need for speed, don’t search Google for any behind-the-lack-of-a-steering-wheel thrills. The car doesn’t go faster than 25 miles per hour.
Google says it plans to build the prototype vehicles and then allow safety drivers to test early versions (with manual controls) over the summer. After that, the company hopes to start a pilot program in California before releasing the technology to the public.