Google has unveiled a self-driving car prototype without steering wheel, accelerator and brake. Its speed is limited to 25 mph and its very existence appears to be a miracle.
Google seems to have accomplished one of its major dreams. The near-impossible goal of a self-driving car has been almost reached. And it all started from a drawing board.
The cute driver-less vehicle appears to be a small boat-like structure on wheels. It has room for two people in it. Google has made an attempt to reinvent the automobile and that too literally!
And the fact that human agency has been eliminated in the whole process speaks volumes about their creative approach. The vehicle will transport individuals from here to there and back.
"We’re planning to build about a hundred prototype vehicles, and later this summer, our safety drivers will start testing early versions of these vehicles that have manual controls. If all goes well, we’d like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years. We’re going to learn a lot from this experience, and if the technology develops as we hope, we’ll work with partners to bring this technology into the world safely," states Google in Official Blog.
One of the twin team members that formed Google spoke of how this cutting edge invention would revolutionize life for those people who faced difficulties in regard to transportation. Especially public transport was scant in the United States so this contraption helped out in this matter.
“The project is about changing the world for people who are not well-served by transportation today,” Google co-founder Sergey Brin said at the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. “There’s not great public transportation in many public places in the United States.”
The really wonderful and queer thing about the vehicle was that it lacked a means of maneuvering it manually. And there were no speed pedal or brake in it either.
This may sound strange to many ears but you have to see it to believe it. And Google’s moon-shot strategy of simplification a la Albert Einstein went the whole hog this time.
The side mirrors, dashboard and rear seating arrangement have been done away with too. The question arises that what is there in the car’s interior in the first place?
Well, there are ten thousand sensors and the automatic-driving software that really gets the job done. The system is honed to be used on highways and byways. The car has gone through hundreds of thousands of miles of being road-tested.
“We imagine at some point there will be an accident with one of these vehicles, so we’ve designed the front end to be soft,” said Ron Medford, director of safety for the project and former U.S. Department of Transportation administrator in charge of vehicle safety research and regulations.
The little moving object is completely computerized down to the smallest details. And Google is giving a rock-solid guarantee that it won’t malfunction no matter what happens. Could we ask for a better deal?