Google's New Car Is The World's Cutest Designated Driver
Google has been talking about building an autonomous car for ages now, but they've just built one that doesn't even have a steering wheel. The car was built in Detroit by an unspecified manufacturer, and is unsurprisingly all-electric. Inside, it has everything you need, and that's about it. There are two doors, two seats, and a button to tell it to go somewhere. Google decided to forgo a steering wheel or pedals for emergency situations, probably on the assumption that if Skynet becomes self aware, you've got bigger things to worry about.
Google's plan is to make 100 or so of the prototypes to allow engineers to work out the kinks. Because there will inevitably be kinks, those prototypes will actually have manual controls as a fail-safe, though the car has a hefty array of lasers, radars, and cameras to guide it along the roads at up to 25 mph. Ultimately, Google's vision is to make these a viable addition to urban mass transit systems, rather than a complete replacement for the nut behind the wheel. In reality, it might be the perfect designated driver.