The search engine giant has finally unveiled its self driving concept car which Google calls “our first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving.”
Scientists from the GoogleX lab have been working on its initial prototype over the past seven months since the two seater vehicle, without a steering wheel was first unveiled in May. Google says it has plans to make 100 prototypes and is going to start a small pilot program in California over the next few years.
Details of the vehicle are scarce and Google has not revealed what changes it had incorporated since the prototype which was shown in May. The vehicle seems to have a working headlight and a LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensor on its roof.
Google wrote in a blog post on Monday, “We’ve been working on different prototypes-of-prototypes, each designed to test different systems of a self-driving car — for example, the typical ‘car’ parts like steering and braking, as well as the ‘self-driving’ parts like the computer and sensors.”
The rounded looks of the car was necessary because of the sensors as explained by Jaime Waydo, a Google systems engineer, “The sensors are mounted on the vehicle and the edges of the vehicle are really falling away from those sensors to really optimize the field of view so we can be as safe as possible.”
Google plans to bring these cars into the streets of Northern California by 2015 but before that its engineers will continue to fine tune the vehicle on a test track.
Autonomous vehicles are going to be the future of transportation. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has already put into place its first set of rules for self driving cars in September. The driverless car will be the biggest change since the internet. The self driving car will have a big effect upon our cities and society.