Google to build 100 prototypes of their own self-driving car [VIDEO]


The Google self-driving car project has always been very interesting, but it’s hard for some folks to get excited for a project that seems like it will take ages before being fully developed into a consumer product. Google’s showing that we’re closer to the dream that we might think, though, as they have just revealed plans to build their own self-driving cars.

The car in question is quite interesting. At first glance I might mistake it for one of those Fisher-Price foot-pedaled toy cars that we all loved to get inside as toddlers.

The design is very bare bones and only includes the basic necessities, including the seats and seat belts, lights, a space for your belongings, a start and stop button, the display that shows your route and destination, and controls for the windows.

google self driving car prototype

The car doesn’t even include steering wheels or pedals (which is likely why Google capped it off at 25 miles per hour). Google says they designed it this way because they wanted it to be more for learning than luxury.

They plan to build 100 prototypes of this thing with manual controls for their “safety drivers” to begin testing on the road later this summer, and they hope be able to run a small pilot program in California within the next couple of years if everything goes according to plan. Needless to say we’re definitely rooting for them to be successful.

It’s truly inspiring stuff, and makes me excited for our future and glad to be alive in a time where such technological advances are possible. I’m not sure if we’ll ever see these all over every ride in my own lifetime, but every little step toward progress is exciting nonetheless. Be sure to take a gander at the video above where Google gives a few lucky folks the chance to drive in one and see what the future might hold.

[via Google]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I’d humbly suggest an edit to the wording of the last sentence of this article: ” … Google gives a few lucky folks the chance to *drive* in one … ” I think should be changed to ” … chance to *ride* in one … ” since that seems more accurate to me. After watching the video (and even just from considering the whole point of self-driving cars) I’d definitely say that it’s the car that does the driving – not the people. For once you have a car where all the people inside are passengers; nobody is the driver. That’s part of the novelty and utility of this project, after all.

  2. God those are ugly. Great project though.

    1. What are you talking about – those are total chick magnets!

  3. If they act as taxis in cities and you can pay from your phone or wallet card, and have WiFi, I would never drive to work again.

    1. and likely reduce the number of pedestrian deaths in city like new york

  4. Speaking of “rooting” how hackable will these cars be. Overclocking becomes overspeeding? Sound packs give you the feel of riding in a monster truck or formula racer? News alert: unknown hackers hold family hostage in speeding vehicle! NSA fully endorses self-driving cars as project code-name Omniscience allows for 30-day location database of world population. Ok, I got a little paranoid there at the end.

  5. Make them NYC cabbies…..that won’t refuse any fare, speed, listen to some weird music in forieign language, or hit a pedestrian
    and best of all…no tips

    1. and yes, I would absolutely get on one of these cabbies

  6. I noticed in the film, That when it showed the guts of the vehicle. There wasn’t a motor. So, these are running on batteries?!

    1. Electric motors are really small on vehicles like this.

      If you look at the Tesla (which is a higher end one) it isn’t very large either.

  7. It’s cool but not for me. When I get my real job, I’ll be rockin’ something nice with a V8 and a stick shift while loving every minute of it.

    1. He’s hoping you get your real job before oil is so scarce that you can’t afford to fill up your V8 :) I love driving and riding too but I look forward to the day self driving vehicles have a strong presence on the road.

      1. You know they’ve been touting the whole “oil is running out” BS for at least 40 years now. There’s even a line about coal and oil being depleted soon in the Bond film “The Man With The Golden Gun”.

        Ever notice how most of the apocalyptic claims are always in the area “20 years from now” and that number never changes? It’s about generating fear.

  8. In Google development another mini-car!)) http://bit.ly/1nVzPVI

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