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Google's new self-driving car has no steering wheel or brake {VIDEO+PICS}

If you're uneasy at the idea of riding in a vehicle that drives itself, just wait till you see Google's new car. It has no gas pedal, no brake and no steering wheel.
Google has been demonstrating its driverless technology for several years by retrofitting Toyotas, Lexuses and other cars with cameras and sensors. But now, for the first time, the company has unveiled a prototype of its own: a cute little car that looks like a cross between a VW Beetle and a golf cart.


"They won't have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal ... because they don't need them," Google said Tuesday in a blog post introducing the unnamed electric vehicles. "Our software and sensors do all the work."
Unlike previous models, these cars won't have human drivers monitoring them at all times. Google said the cars can detect objects up to 200 yards away in all directions and adjust their speed, turns and braking accordingly.

Google's new car: No driver, no brakes

The cars' speed for now has been capped at 25 mph, allowing engineers to minimize the risk of crashes during testing.
Inside, the spartan cars have few dashboard controls, no glove box and no stereo.
"We've designed for learning, not luxury, so we're light on creature comforts," Google said. "But we'll have two seats (with seatbelts), a space for passengers' belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route -- and that's about it."
Google did not explain how the car navigates, although passengers would presumably punch in a destination on the dashboard screen and let the computers do the rest.


The company plans to build about 100 prototype vehicles and begin testing them later this summer. If everything goes well, Google then will run a small pilot program in California over the next few years.
The cars represent another step into hardware for Google, which in recent years has introduced its Glass connected headset and bought Nest, a startup that makes "smart" thermostats and smoke detectors. Google said it eventually hopes to partner with an automaker to produce the self-driving vehicles instead of building them itself.
The bubblelike Google cars arrive as the U.S. is struggling to accept a sci-fi future of robotic vehicles and other technological advancements. A recent Pew survey found that half of Americans would not ride in a self-driving car.


Four states -- California, Nevada, Florida and Michigan -- now allow self-driving vehicles on their roads as long as a human driver is behind the wheel at all times.
Most major automakers are also developing vehicles that drive autonomously.
Google posted a video Tuesday featuring testimonials from people who had ridden in the new cars.
"The human feeling of it is very well engineered, and it is very smooth," said an older man identified only as Nick. "There's nothing that makes you feel the least bit threatened."

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Comment by GospelPan on May 30, 2014 at 1:35pm

@Mervin, that's so true...a spouse can kidnap you and instruct the car to drive off a cliff or bridge...

Comment by Mervin E Yearwood on May 29, 2014 at 4:00pm

GospelPan I was thinking along those lines some criminal,girl friend or spouce hack your coach and hold you for ransom. .... Cheater will be expose can park this in secret.

Comment by BIG F* on May 29, 2014 at 2:50pm

@ Nadida Bullock, I agree!!! I'm looking at all the good a self driving car can bring. I think if everything work out and work the way it suppose to work it might make the roads a little safer because there are drivers out there that been driving for years and still can't drive. I still think they need to think about adding a little more to the self driving car and the look of it because nobody don't won't to ride around in a cartoon looking car lol.

Comment by GospelPan on May 29, 2014 at 1:46pm

The idea is good, but it would just be a matter of time before someone hacks the software and crashes thousands of cars nationwide, all at the same time.  Trust me, stuff that's wireless can be hacked...lol

Comment by mr1stroke on May 29, 2014 at 12:45pm

@nadida bullock good point i didnt think of that since i dont drink and drive, but yes you are right

Comment by nadida bullock on May 29, 2014 at 12:39pm
This will help drunk drivers
Comment by mr1stroke on May 29, 2014 at 11:19am

@Mervin E Yearwood  lol that is the only use i can see for that stuff unless someone is the laziest person and is suicidal i dont see the beauty of driving if you cant navigate

Comment by Mervin E Yearwood on May 29, 2014 at 10:14am

Mr1stroke Excellent use of commute time.

Comment by mr1stroke on May 29, 2014 at 10:08am

is it big enough to have sex in, i mean damn just imagine going to NC late night and we both feeling honey, let the mufucker drive it self while we get our nut off

Comment by Mervin E Yearwood on May 29, 2014 at 9:54am

Excellent concept, Now a blind person can have total independant transportation.

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