unveiling of functional google self driving car with steering wheel
all images courtesy of google




earlier in may 2014, google announced their first self driving vehicle – an early mockup without headlights and steering wheel. now, before wrapping up the year, they’ve announced the first fully functional version of the autonomous two-seater. since its inception, the search-engine giant has been working on different prototypes, each designed to test different systems of a self-driving car. examples include typical ‘car’ parts like steering and braking – which the previous version didn’t have – as well as the ‘self-driving’ parts like the computer and sensors. all those systems have now been put together in this fully functional vehicle — the first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving.


‘we’re going to be spending the holidays zipping around our test track, and we hope to see you on the streets of northern california in the new year,’ said google. ‘our safety drivers will continue to oversee the vehicle for a while longer, using temporary manual controls as needed while we continue to test and learn.’





like the first prototype, the autonomous vehicles will be very basic – it will be capped at a top speed of 40 km/h (25 mph), includes two seats with seatbelts, space for passenger belongings, start and stop buttons, and a touchscreen that shows route information. because it is fully autonomous, the self-learning vehicle needs to integrate special sensors to remove blind spots, which can detect objects up-to distances of more than two football fields, in all directions. the technology is capable of detecting multiple distinct objects simultaneously—including pedestrians, vehicles, signage, and road work—and respond safely.