Google famously invited media groups to ride in its self-driving cars earlier this year. Since then, the leading internet company has made major modifications to the automated vehicles. The latest models do not have a steering wheel, brake, or gas pedal.
“They won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal… because they don’t need them,” Google wrote in an official blog post. “Our software and sensors do all the work.”
Unlike previous models, the new self-driving cars do not have human drivers waiting to take over in the event of an emergency.
Google engineers will restrict the vehicles to 25 miles per hour during initial testing, and at least 100 prototypes will be manufactured for testing purposes. “We’ve designed for learning, not luxury, so we’re light on creature comforts,” Google continued. “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.”
If all goes well, consumers would be able to summon the self-driving vehicles using a smartphone application. Google insists that the changes are, if anything, safer. Developers reason that human passengers who may or may not be paying attention cannot be held responsible to take over at a moment’s notice. The new models will debut on select roads next year.
“This technology is very interesting, and it will be neat to see how this technology and future vehicles will intertwine” says Vito, Owner of Vito’s Auto Sales and Rentals. “While a lot of us would love an easy drive in situations like the morning commute, automated vehicles will still see push back from auto enthusiasts who love the driving experience.”