Google Reveals Self-Driving Car with No Steering Wheel or Brake Pedals
“Taking a spin behind the wheel” might soon be a phrase from the past.
On Tuesday night, Google unveiled the latest version of its self-driving car: a vehicle that can navigate and drive by itself and that does not feature a steering wheel, brakes, or acceleration pedal.
“Fully autonomous driving has always been the goal of our project,” Google’s self-driving vehicle team said in a statement, “because we think this could improve road safety and help lots of people who can’t drive. We’re now developing prototypes of vehicles that have been designed from the ground up to drive themselves — just push a button and they’ll take you where you want to go.”
Google’s rendering of the car.
The car uses the same navigation software as Google’s other self-driving vehicles, which have racked up 70,000 miles on the road already. Previous versions of Google’s self-driving car feature a steering wheel and pedals, should the driver need to override the computer’s navigation; they have also always been on the road with a driver behind the (literal) wheel.
This new, truly driverless car, according to a blog on Google’s website, would eliminate the need for the driver to look for parking (the car could do it on its own, as you walked off) and also potentially wipe out drunken-driving incidents. It could also let older people, who have lost the faculty to drive, get back behind the –– well, get back in the car.