Monday, December 22, 2014

Google Debuts Next Revision Self Driving Car

In May, Google released a teaser image showing a mock-up of the autonomous vehicle it planned to build. Today, the company followed up with an image showing the finished product, which looks just as silly as the original mockup.

Google’s previous autonomous car was a modified Toyota Prius, which used a combination of cameras, sensors, and software to drive itself around California. The modified Prius was very successful, reportedly driving more than 700,000 miles with minimal issues.

Google says the first edition of its self-made self-driving car will feature “temporary manual controls as needed while we continue to test and learn.” When Google introduced its prototype back in May, the company claimed its self-driving cars “won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pad, or brake pedal…because they don’t need them.” Apparently, it still has yet to reach that point.

Even at a glance, the new self-driving car doesn’t look like anything that Google might introduce to the market. With room for two passengers and little else, it currently looks like a less-convenient Smart car. While the bare-bones prototype should make it useful for testing, what a Google-brand car might look like at a dealership remains to be seen.

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