Google's self-driving car is electric, has no pedals, no steering wheel, and can be hailed like an automated taxi.
Google has unveiled the official prototype for its self-driving car initiative, and it looks like something straight out of the future. No steering wheel, no pedals, and 100% electric - the car will work like a kind of automated taxi that users can "call" to pick them up, and drive them to their location.
"We're now exploring what fully self-driving vehicles would look like by building some prototypes; they'll be designed to operate safely and autonomously without requiring human intervention. They won't have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal... because they don't need them," explained Google in an official blog post. You can check out the car in action in the video to the right.
Google believes that its cars will make the road safer for everyone by removing the human element entirely. "We started with the most important thing: safety. They have sensors that remove blind spots, and they can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions, which is especially helpful on busy streets with lots of intersections," it explained. On the downside, the cars will initially be capped at 25 MPH.
"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."
This sounds and looks fantastic - the ability to have my car "pick me up" from a night out drinking without having to worry about an expensive taxi fare would be great, however, I'd like for there to be some sort of I, Robot-style manual override so I can still drive by myself if I wanted to.