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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Google's Self-driving Car Prototype Has No Steering Wheel, Pedals

Google has moved into car manufacturing by unveiling a prototype driverless car that doesn't have a steering wheel, an accelerator or brake pedal.

The search giant is now exploring what fully self-driving vehicles would look like by building some prototypes., which will 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. Google's software and sensors do all the work.

"The vehicles will be very basic but they will take you where you want to go at the push of a button. And that's an important step toward improving road safety and transforming mobility for millions of people," said Chris Urmson, director of Google's Self-Driving Car Project.

Google's vehicles have sensors that remove blind spots, and they can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions. The speed of these first vehicles is capped at 25 mph. On the inside, they have two seats, a space for passengers? belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route.

Google is planning to build about a hundred prototype vehicles, and later this summer, its safety drivers will start testing early versions of these vehicles that have manual controls. If all goes well, Google will run a small pilot program in California in the next couple of years.

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