May, 28 2014

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]

stars Further Reading