Autonomous Vehicle: Google's Self-Driving Car


We've known Google has been working on self-driving cars for awhile now, but all of a sudden, the project is real: last night, Google revealed a working prototype of its self-driving car. It's a two-seater that looks something like a mashup of a Fiat 500, Steve Urkel's car, and a cartoon smiley face.

This isn't a production model; Google is making perhaps 100 of these little buggers mostly as an experiment. They have no steering wheel, no gas or brake pedals, and only two seats. They're powered by an electric engine and are artificially limited to a top speed of 25 mph (good news for the testers). The cars are resolutely simple. Says Chris Urmson, the director of the project, in a Google blog post: "On the inside, we’ve designed for learning, not luxury, so we’re light on creature comforts, but we’ll have two seats (with seatbelts), a space for passengers’ belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route--and that’s about it."

The car isn't designed like other cars; it lacks things most cars have, and not just the steering wheel. It has no mirrors, no stereo, no glove compartment.

Read the full story at Fast Company Design.


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