SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Google on Monday announced that the first completed prototype of its self-driving car (AFP pic) is ready to be road tested.
“We’re going to be spending the holidays zipping around our test track, and we hope to see you on the streets of Northern California in the new year,” the Internet titan’s autonomous car team said in a post at Google+ social network.
The prototype is a manifestation of plans that California-based Google revealed in May to build its own autonomous car minus typical features such as steering wheels.
“They won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal… because they don’t need them. Our software and sensors do all the work,” Google’s Chris Urmson said in a blog post in May.
Technical specifics about the prototype were not disclosed on Monday. For Google, the car marks a shift away from adapting vehicles made by others in its quest to pioneer individual transport that needs only a stop-and-go function.