Google Introduces Self-Driving Car
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Google unveiled a brand new self-driving car prototype on Tuesday, becoming the first company to build a car with no steering wheel, accelerator or brake pedal.
Here's what we know about the car so far:
- It's a two-seater, with "ample room" according to test drivers.
- It is available only in California, primarily near Google's Mountain View headquarters.
- The car is summoned by a smartphone for pick up at the user’s location with the destination set.
- There is no steering wheel or manual control, simply a start button and a big red emergency stop button.
- Powered by an electric motor with around a 100 mile range, the car uses a combination of sensors and software to locate itself in the real world. A GPS is used to get a rough location of the car, at which point radar, lasers and cameras take over to monitor the world around the car, 360-degrees.
- The car is limited to 25 mph, which restricts it to certain roads, but also minimizes the kinetic energy it could carry into a crash if one should happen.
- Google says the cars should be road-ready by early next year.
Read more of The Guardian's report—"Google's self-driving car: How does it work and when can we drive one?"—at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/28/google-self-driving-car-how-does-it-work.