Google Reveals Electric Self-Driving Car – Video

3 years ago by Jay Cole 31

The self driving car apocalypse is upon us as Google is now unleashing its autonomous vision of the future to the public.

Styling Aside, Google Has Made A Big Commitment To Autonomous Electric Driving - Over 100 To Be Built

Styling Aside, Google Has Made A Big Commitment To Autonomous Electric Driving – Over 100 To Be Built

The little 2 seater features no brake or gas pedal, no gear shift or steering wheel and a lot of molded plastic.  And of course, it is totally autonomous.

Google was originally representing this as pretty much an autonomous build by themselves, but Jalopnik Detroit put an end to that assumption fairly quickly, noting Roush Enterprises in Michigan is in “midst of hiring engineers for the Google project and is making interviewees sign a confidentiality agreement keeping the partnership secret.

Still, its a pretty swell little EV and a great first effort at taking the ‘human element’ out of the driving equation.

Google states of the project:

It was inspiring to start with a blank sheet of paper and ask, “What should be different about this kind of vehicle?” We started with the most important thing: safety. They have sensors that remove blind spots, and they can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions, which is especially helpful on busy streets with lots of intersections. And we’ve capped the speed of these first vehicles at 25 mph. On the inside, we’ve designed for learning, not luxury, so we’re light on creature comforts, but we’ll have two seats (with seatbelts), a space for passengers’ belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route—and that’s about it.

We’re planning to build about a hundred prototype vehicles, and later this summer, our safety drivers will start testing early versions of these vehicles that have manual controls. If all goes well, we’d like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years. We’re going to learn a lot from this experience, and if the technology develops as we hope, we’ll work with partners to bring this technology into the world safely.

If you’d like to follow updates about the project and share your thoughts, please join us on our new Google+ page. We’re looking forward to learning more about what passengers want in a vehicle where their number one job is to kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Google Blog

 

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31 responses to "Google Reveals Electric Self-Driving Car – Video"

  1. scott franco says:

    ooooh Snap! Your google driving application has crashed!

  2. Mark H says:

    25 mph was my thoughts on where to start for safety purposes. My good EV friend and fellow programmer Kdawg, I told you this was closer than you think!
    Can you imagine the freedom for the blind community?

    1. Mikael says:

      And for the elderly. And for people with diseases like epilepsy or strong medication or so that aren’t allowed to drive.

      Not to mention all the comfort and safety for all the rest of us when not having to drive and getting the human factor of tiredness, unawareness, different kind of drugs and just adrenaline junkies and speeders.

      1. TomArt says:

        Absolutely – it would be a very enabling technology for a lot of people!

  3. Jeff D says:

    I like the idea of autonomous driving, but I would like to see it look more like the car in I, Robot. Not only was it a great looking vehicle, but it transitioned very smoothly from autonomous to manual driving mode.

    1. TomArt says:

      I would want a manual override, absolutely. I’m no “tea party” nut, nor am I a corporate shill…but for better or worse, I am a ‘murican. I like my freedom and am willing to accept the associated risks: I want to drive my car…not the other way around. If I want to relax en-route, I’ll buy a train ticket (which I do, whenever I can).

  4. Anon says:

    It looks like a character from a Miyazaki film…

  5. QCO says:

    Great progress on a brilliant concept, but very homely styling…. Makes the i-miev look good!

    Being a Google project, the production version probably will have a big screen on the dash showing ads all the way home.

    1. Anon says:

      Now with Google’s interactive “AdDash”. 😉

      Maybe we shouldn’t joke. 🙁

      1. TomArt says:

        That’s one of the more mundane, annoying things about relying on our corporate overlords: they plaster their logo feces all over every surface and garment they can find.

        And I really despise internet adds. I’d rather pay a small fee than endure a single pointless banner or irritating flashing/moving distraction.

    2. Open-Mind says:

      Or it will make a mandatory stop at every Walmart and Costco until you go in and purchase something. 😉

      1. See Through says:

        And record every conversation in the car, to be sold to NSA for pretty bucks 🙂

        1. Anon says:

          Google has never charged the US Government to access its data…

      2. Foo says:

        “OK Car, why did we stop here?”

        “This location was included because it ranked highly among other people headed to your destination. Please exit the vehicle.”

        1. TomArt says:

          LOL

  6. ffbj says:

    Use sign language, or write notes, after all your hands are now free.

    1. TomArt says:

      Yeah, autopilot reduces the excitement of texting…or save lives, like that woman that was killed within seconds after posting a selfie on Facebook with the caption stating that the happy song makes her happy – she was driving by herself and f—ing with her phone instead of driving. Fortunately, she didn’t take anyone else out with her; it was a single-car wreck.

  7. no comment says:

    i would not be willing to trust my life on this but it is really neat. having to drive is, in some respects, rather stressful at times; autonomous driving would go a ways toward reducing stress in day to day living.

    1. Anon says:

      If the vehicle were to become hacked by unethical types, I imagine that would be a new form of automotive stress for passengers with no controls…

      1. Gsned57 says:

        There should always be a big estop button like the power tools in shop class had.

        1. TomArt says:

          Yep, a big button on the dash and also the (former) brake pedal.

      2. no comment says:

        yeah, check it out; there are enough hackers messing up smart phones. then there is the problem of what happens when you encounter software crashes due to bugs; when it’s controlling your computer, it’s an inconvenience, when it’s controller your automobile, it could be your life.

    2. Mikael says:

      Yet you trust your life to a very unreliable, slow and incapable being – yourself 😛
      Not to mention all the other drivers and their extreme limitation 😛

      1. no comment says:

        i definitely don’t trust my life to other drivers, so i try to drive defensively, but if i am in a position where i have to trust my own life to others, that means that i am probably in a pretty bad situation such that i can’t do it myself.

  8. MDEV says:

    Do you push the on button to go or you need to sign in with Facebook first and all your friends will know the speed and location where you are in time?

    1. TomArt says:

      Absolutely – and the mandatory selfie provides the authentication for the vehicle to move…

  9. Aaron says:

    Some commenters noted that the factory in the building video looks suspiciously like the Tesla factory. Maybe this is why the Freemont plant has a higher utilization than we previously thought.

  10. Kosh says:

    I for one welcome our new autodrive overlords….

  11. Emc2 says:

    The car looks ugly. Why didn’t they chose a more modern/futuristic look, such as the Hiriko/MIT car, check here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiriko

  12. Emc2 says:

    Check this rendering of the MIT City Car:

    1. Anon says:

      Tweels???