Google Envisions Self-Driving Cars With No Steering Wheel
We have all seen shots of the self-driving Prius vehicles Google has brought out in recent years, but it looks like the company is starting to take a whole new approach to autonomous cars. In a recent post, Google laid out a new plan for self-driving technology, one that involves smaller cars with no brakes and no steering wheel. Google previously advocated for the importance of a human driver to take control of an autonomous car if necessary. But now its new vehicles will hardly allow for any human intervention. Drivers will only have control of two buttons, one for starting and one for stopping the car. To help it navigate by itself, the self-driving cars come equipped with sensors that remove blind spots and detect objects as far as two football fields away in all directions. Starting off, Google has limited the speed of these vehicles to 25 mph, making them perfect for city streets. Looking into the future, these cars could replace taxis down the line for quick drives downtown. But that may be all they are fit for, considering they won't have many creature comforts. These minicars come with just two seats, a space for luggage, and a large screen that shows the route. Google said it plans on building about a hundred test cars. Early versions of the car will come out later this summer and will have manual controls. Within the next few years, Google hopes to run a pilot program in California. Source: Google
Automobile Magazine pits two compacts against each other in a mile-long race.