Published on May 28th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro

Video: The First Google Car Is Totally Autonomous

Just how serious is Google about building autonomous cars? Seriously serious, as it turns out, as Google has just unveiled their first ever, totally autonomous car. When I say totally autonomous, I mean that there isn’t even the option to drive the car yourself; no pedals, no steering wheel, no gear shifter. Just a whole lotta leg room.

The Google Car isn’t about reinventing the wheel (though it is ADORABLE), so much as removing people from the driving experience. Limited to just 25 MPH and having an interior that consists solely of a pair of seats, some cupholders, and a navigation input for your destination, utilizing a complicated algorithm coupled to lots of cameras and sensors to navigate the crowded streets of California. Google plans to build about 100 of these autonomous cars to begin local testing this summer, with plans for a California-wide pilot test down the road.

google-car

The possibilities of this technology are virtually limitless, and the effects could be profound. Accidents and speeding tickets would become a thing of the past, and parents could spend their time in the car helping kids with homework instead of navigating rush hour traffic. On the flip side, autonomous vehicles could make millions of jobs obsolete in short order, and could devastate the budgets of local police departments reliant on lead-foot drivers.

The real takeaway here though? Google could be the next “disruptor” in the automotive field, and potentially a bigger one than even Tesla. Why buy a cutting-edge car company when you can just…build your own?

Source: Google




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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Wiggletoes

    Problem:
    Carbon and other pollution from cars:
    Solution fuel cell cars (which initially will get 2 – 3 time the mileage) fueled initially with reformed natural gas for about $1/gallon and latter from cellulosic ethanol (renewable methane).
    PS – Autonomous features add cost to cars without fixing the urgent and pressing carbon problem.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      As a motorcyclist, I feel like the biggest carbon problem is currently the carbon based idiots behind the wheel on 290 at rush hour.

  • Bi-Polar Bear

    Perhaps you gentlemen may have missed the review from Sniff Petrol? To wit:

    Google has announced a self-driving car prototype which it will release for testing amongst feckless dickwits. ‘This car makes an incredible statement,’ said Google spokesman Serge Optimization. ‘Specifically, it says, I’m so fucking stupid I can’t even drive a car.’

    Google sources say a great deal of time was spent on the design to ensure it was as embarrassing as possible and the car will also be limited to 25 mph so bystanders have plenty of time to laugh at it.

    ‘Just imagine passing at snail’s pace down a city street in a slow-moving nutsack of lameness over which you’ve happily agreed to have absolutely no control,’ Optimization suggests. ‘That’s how shitty and incompetent at the basic task of driving you need to be. If you got picked last for sports at high school and you’d rather touch your fucking phone than your own dick, this is the achingly slow bubble of douchbaggery for you.’

    As you would expect from Google, the experimental machine features full connectivity with the company’s other services. ‘The car syncs perfectly with the owner’s Google+ and Google Glass,’ Optimization notes. ‘Which, given the lamers we’re aiming at, we assume they already have.’

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