Google publicized information about its latest version of its self-driving car on Tuesday night on its blog, according to The Huffington Post. The car looks like it belongs in an animated movie or a cartoon, but it features some of the most advanced technology for driverless vehicles yet.
The fleet of vehicles at Google right now include Prius and Lexus models that have been updated. But, the new driverless vehicle was made by Google and carries two people. It does not have a steering wheel, a gas pedal or a brake pedal.
Google claims that it removed the most basic controls of the vehicle because drivers who are not paying attention during the ride will not be able to take over the operation of the vehicle if necessary in a moment’s notice.
Google employees tested the vehicle by riding in them to work each day. Roboticist Christopher Urmson, the director of the Google car project, told the New York Times the following:
“We saw stuff that made us a little nervous.”
The car has three features; cup holders, a button to start the car and a button to stop the car in an emergency. The car can also be summoned using an app. It has a display that shows the route the vehicle is taking.
“Just imagine: You can take a trip downtown at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking,” Urmson wrote in the blog post for Google. “Seniors can keep their freedom even if they can’t keep their car keys. And drunk and distracted driving? History.”
The front of the car is made from soft foam so less damage occurs when there is an accident. There are sensors that get rid of blind spots. There are also sensors that can detect objects that are more than two football fields away from the vehicle.
Google wants to build 100 cars that go no more than 25 MPH during a testing period this summer.
“There is nothing to say that once you demonstrate the safety, why can’t you go 100 miles per hour?” Google co-founder Sergey Brin told the New York Times.