Google just unveiled the prototype for its self-driving car. The prototype looks very similar to the car unveiled earlier this year save for the fact this one has actual working components.

Google Launches Prototype For Self-Driving Car

The future of autonomous cars

The Google Self-Driving car is rather small and it looks more like a pod than an automobile. It features a roundish-shaped body, large headlights and a black nose on the front which give it a cute “face”. On Facebook, Google admits it made several prototypes, with each prototype testing out a different function on the car.  Within the past seven months, Google designed prototypes for the steering wheel, brakes, computerized parts, and self-driving sensors. In August, the tech company made an agreement to include a steering wheel and pedal system in cars during the testing phase.

The search giant pioneered it’s technology on a modified Toyota Prius and it inspired mainstream auto industry to consider designing similar self-driving cars of their own.

Potential benefits of Google self-driving cars

A few months ago, there were reports Google self-driving car could lead to more efficient roads and potentially save thousands of lives a year. Stefan Heck (co-author of “Resource Revolution”) has a lot of faith in automotive technologies which also include electric cars and ride-sharing services. He proclaimed, “There’s a big incentive for a state like California to say, ‘Our car pool lanes are now sharing, autonomous lanes. You could even exempt them from the speed limit.”

The Google self-driving car may be one of the next big things in transportation technology. Of course, it is too early to tell right now if and when this technology becomes a part of mainstream living. Such technologies could also prompt large metro areas to improve city infrastructures. One suggestion involves an autonomous car-sharing “train which would allow vehicles to platoon down suburban commuter corridors.