After years of testing the idea of autonomous vehicle technology, Google has unveiled its own self-driving prototype aimed not only at saving lives, but also at eliminating traffic jams and improve road safety.
The Toyota Prius and Audi TT were some of the test cars they used to test the technology. The video below shows their very own self-driving two-seater car which does not have a steering wheel, accelerator or brakes.
The prototype uses a software system which includes Google Maps and built-in radar sensors and lasers to do the driving. It runs with an electric engine (limited to 40 km/h for safety reasons) and is made from off the shelf car parts including the use of foam. The software can additionally recognise objects, people, cars, road marking, signs and traffic lights, obeying the rules of the road and allowing for multiple unpredictable hazards, including cyclists.
Google says a 100 early versions of the vehicles will be used for testing later in the year, but will come with manual controls in case any problems arise.