Google has released the first prototypes for its self-driving car project, an initiative to improve car safety and efficiency. Back in 2010, a Google software engineer discussed how more than 1.2 million lives are lost each year in road traffic accidents, according to the World Health Organization. The company is confident that its technology can be used to decrease this number and change how the United States uses cars.
The prototype and car design is simplistic, allowing for two passengers to fit comfortably in the vehicle. It includes room for some personal belongings, start and stop buttons and a screen that displays the route. There’s no need for steering wheel or acceleration and brake pedals. To maintain safety, Google has capped the vehicle’s speeds at 25 miles per hour.
How does this car drive itself? It is equipped with sensors and lasers to interact with the streets around it. Some sensors are able to detect objects as far as approximately two football fields in all directions, the company states.
Even with the release of a prototype, Google is still continuously working on building about 100 prototype vehicles for this fall and running a small pilot program in California. Check out the video below to see some of the prototype’s test runs.
For more information, visit Google.