Google’s futurist self driving cars have taken another step forward towards hitting the streets. This summer Google has announced that they will design and build their own cars, instead of retrofitting cars already on the market. Announced tonight at the Code Conference, the new prototypes aren’t equipped with a steering wheel, mirrors, pedals or steering mechanisms found in normal vehicles.
The car will completely run by the computer and for now will be limited to a maximum speed of 25MPH. Google says it won’t sell these vehicles, but is looking for “friends and partners to bring them to market.” One possible choice of partner would be Uber, which would allow for automated taxis. This is especially likely as Uber was recently integrated into the official Google Maps app.
Google says the cars are built with foam and flexible windshields that cut the chance for injury if they do collide with anything. Google will have to overcome some government regulations, but they feel confident new legislation will allow for fully self driven vehicles.
I’ve been sold on the self driving cars, but the cartoonish appearance and small design just looks foolish. We’ll certainly have to see if the futurism outweighs the fashion. I love the idea of texting, eating, and talking with friends while being driven to school or work. Tell us what you think of the prototype of the Google self driving car in the comments below.