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Google launches autonomous car without pedals or steering wheel

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We haven’t had a serious update about Google’s autonomous vehicle project in quite some time but today we’re reporting that the project has taken an important step towards the goal of fully automated vehicles.

The latest prototype to come out of Google’s doors looks something like a cartoon character however the tech underneath its bubbly body is anything but meant for children.

This two-door prototype has been designed to function autonomously without needing human intervention at all and in order to illustrate this better it features no steering wheel and no pedals.

According to a Google post, they ‘don’t need then’ because their ‘software and sensors do all the work’.

The plan is to build about 100 self-driving prototype vehicles in the following months for testing purposes.

The prototypes will feature sensors capable of detecting object out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions, thus allowing for the safe navigation of intersections and traffic jams however, the test cars’ speed will be capped at 40km/h.

Google stressed that these prototypes will be very basic affairs, being meant more for their engineers to learn from and adapt them as quickly as possible to the requirements of real world applications.

The inside of the cars have been designed for learning not luxury so there won’t be any crazy surround sound features, but the cars will feature two seats – with seatbelts, a space for passengers’ belongings, buttons to start and stop as well as a screen that shows the route, and that’s about it.

This year will be dedicated to internal testing and if it goes well, then they will be able to launch a small pilot program in California sometime in the next couple of years.

It’s still a bit unreal how the search engine giant has been a true leader in the development of self-driving vehicle development and how they’re still keeping to it.

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