Google’s self-driving vehicle prototypes are real, but they have yet to be tested in very real environments. That will change this summer, according to the Mountain View company.
They confirmed that the cars would be out on public roads in Mountain View as early as this summer, though obviously not without training wheels. Each vehicle will be manned by a human test driver who will have detachable steering wheels and pedals to take over driving whenever they need.
Each prototype’s speed will be hard capped at 25 miles per hour, which isn’t exactly freeway-friendly pace but should be both slow and fast enough for safe travels through small residential and commercial areas.
Google says their goal within the next few years is to learn what people would use these vehicles for by running a small pilot program. That’s a seemingly long wait for baseline consumer trialing, though this sort of technology is so new and delicate that you have to expect it to take years before a commercial product comes to market.
In the meantime just sit back, enjoy the ride (no pun intended) and know that Google is inching closer and closer to an autonomous future for roadways each and every day.