Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News | Cars & Vehicles

 

New Google Self-Driving Car Has No Steering Wheel

May 28 2014, 3:27am CDT | by

1 Updates
New Google Self-Driving Car Has No Steering Wheel

Photo Credit: Google
 
 

YouTube Videos Comments

Full Story

New Google Self-Driving Car Has No Steering Wheel

If the tiny car above looks like it’s happy to see you, that’s no accident.

It’s Google’s new house-made self-driving car, and its front-grill “face” was designed to look friendly — maybe because its insides could make riders feel ill at ease.

Unlike Google’s autonomous cars of the past — with a whirring device on top, but otherwise like any other car — its new prototype has no need for the trappings of a driverful past. Instead, it’s designed from the ground up as a car meant never to have a driver.

No brakes, no steering wheel, no gas pedal. Just two buttons for “go” and “start,” and a mobile app to summon the car.

The two-seater prototype looks more like a wheeled bubble than a traditional car. A human has always been present during during the 700,000-odd miles of testing in Google’s older self-driving cars, but the new version will soon be zipping around Mountain View without drivers (and, while driving to pick someone up, with no one in it at all).

Google announced the prototype Tuesday evening at the Code Conference hosted by Recode.

While some design choices help with functionality — the squat, round shape of the car gives the sensor at the top better visibility — others are specifically meant to help the car fit in when it clearly sticks out.

“We definitely would like the vehicle to appear friendly,” Chris Urmson, head of the self-driving car project, told Recode. “When you look at the front grill of any car, there’s a lot of thought put into that shape and what kind of emotion it shows. Many of them look like faces. In our case we wanted to find something that’s very Googley. It’s friendly, it’s kind of cute. We hope it fits into neighborhoods.”

The cars have two sets of steering and braking systems to cover for malfunction, and they will not go faster than 25 miles per hour.

Though Google hopes to get prototypes out on Mountain View streets as soon as this summer, the company does not plan to sell the cars itself.

Follow Ellen Huet on Twitter at @ellenhuet.

 

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update


Advertisement


More From the Web

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Ashlee Simpson celebrates Evan Ross Birthday Bash
Ashlee Simpson celebrates Evan Ross Birthday Bash
The pop starlet, Ashlee Simpson celebrated her fiance’s birthday bash and also wore a special hat later on in the style of Mary Poppins.
 
 
iPhone 6 from Apple: Where to Next?
iPhone 6 launch invites sent
With the arrival of the iPhone 6, the question for the execs at Apple Incorporated is: where to next?
 
 
Jake the Snake Roberts in a Medical Dilemma
Jake the Snake Roberts in a Medical Dilemma
The famous professional wrestler, Jake the Snake Roberts is in somewhat of a medical dilemma. He is in a hospital and currently undergoing treatment for double pneumonia.
 
 
Hello Kitty is Not a Cat!
Hello Kitty is Not a Cat!
Amongst some of the latest news to hit the scene is a factoid: Hello Kitty is not a cat! This might be a little hard to believe but for better or worse it is true.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.