DETROIT (dpa) – German technology plays a key part in a fleet of 150 pod-like robot cars which internet giant Google has ordered for extensive field trials.
The autonomous runabouts will be built by the firm of Roush near Detroit in the heart of traditional US car-building country. The prototypes will then be tested, with plans to market the car in around five year’s time
Among the partner firms providing components will be German suppliers Continental, Bosch and ZF Lenksysteme, Google project chief Chris Urmson told the Detroit Free Press during the city’s car show.
Samir Salman, who heads Continental North America, said the project was an important step in the supplier’s vision of a world without traffic accidents, while at the same time enhancing individual mobility.
Bosch is delivering major components of the electric power-train system including power electronics and radar sensing equipment.
The Google car is designed to drive without any activity by the driver. The prototypes will not even feature a steering wheel or conventional pedals for acceleration and braking.
The US company said the rounded looks of the two-seater were chosen to enhance customer acceptance of a ground-breaking technology which could otherwise trigger
For trials in California, the Google car will probably feature temporary override controls in order to comply with local highway regulations.