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.
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.
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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.