Google's new self-driving car has no steering wheel or brake - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Google's new self-driving car has no steering wheel or brake

Updated:
Courtesy: CNN Courtesy: CNN
Courtesy: CNN Courtesy: CNN
  • CBS19.tv Web ExclusivesMore>>

  • Web Exclusive: Ultra HD TVs

    Web Exclusive: Ultra HD TVs

    (CNN) -Some people just have to have the latest in television technology. The newest TVs on the market- ultra-high definition TVs- or UHD TVs. They have higher screen resolution than current high def screens, and are also known as "4-K" sets. "More >>
    (CNN) -Some people just have to have the latest in television technology. The newest TVs on the market- ultra-high definition TVs- or UHD TVs. They have higher screen resolution than current high def screens, and are also known as "4-K" sets. "More >>
  • Web Exclusive: A product to help keep sharks away on sale

    Web Exclusive: A product to help keep sharks away on sale

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:40 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:40:46 GMT
    If you're headed on a beach vacation, there's a product you may be interested in to help keep sharks away.  The device is called a Shark Shield.  It is now being sold in Florida.More >>
    If you're headed on a beach vacation, there's a product you may be interested in to help keep sharks away.  The device is called a Shark Shield.  It is now being sold in Florida.More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Back to School costs really add up

    Web Exclusive: Back to School costs really add up

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:14 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:14:59 GMT
    Before you know it, fall will be here and it will be time to go back to school.  For parents that means stocking up on notebooks, number two pencils, and back to school clothes, all of which usually take a big chunk out of a family's budget.  So, just how much do parents will pay to send their kids off to school this year?More >>
    Before you know it, fall will be here and it will be time to go back to school.  For parents that means stocking up on notebooks, number two pencils, and back to school clothes, all of which usually take a big chunk out of a family's budget.  So, just how much do parents will pay to send their kids off to school this year?More >>

(CNN) -- If you're uneasy at the idea of riding in a vehicle that drives itself, just wait till you see Google's new car. It has no gas pedal, no brake and no steering wheel.

Google has been demonstrating its driverless technology for several years by retrofitting Toyotas, Lexuses and other cars with cameras and sensors. But now, for the first time, the company has unveiled a prototype of its own: a cute little car that looks like a cross between a VW Beetle and a golf cart.

"They won't have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal ... because they don't need them," Google said Tuesday in a blog post introducing the unnamed electric vehicles. "Our software and sensors do all the work."

Unlike previous models, these cars won't have human drivers monitoring them at all times. Google said the cars can detect objects up to 200 yards away in all directions and adjust their speed, turns and braking accordingly.

The cars' speed for now has been capped at 25 mph, allowing engineers to minimize the risk of crashes during testing.

Inside, the spartan cars have few dashboard controls, no glove box and no stereo.

"We've designed for learning, not luxury, so we're light on creature comforts," Google said. "But we'll have two seats (with seatbelts), a space for passengers' belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route -- and that's about it."

Google did not explain how the car navigates, although passengers would presumably punch in a destination on the dashboard screen and let the computers do the rest.

The company plans to build about 100 prototype vehicles and begin testing them later this summer. If everything goes well, Google then will run a small pilot program in California over the next few years.

The cars represent another step into hardware for Google, which in recent years has introduced its Glass connected headset and bought Nest, a startup that makes "smart" thermostats and smoke detectors. Google said it eventually hopes to partner with an automaker to produce the self-driving vehicles instead of building them itself.

The bubblelike Google cars arrive as the U.S. is struggling to accept a sci-fi future of robotic vehicles and other technological advancements. A recent Pew survey found that half of Americans would not ride in a self-driving car.

Four states -- California, Nevada, Florida and Michigan -- now allow self-driving vehicles on their roads as long as a human driver is behind the wheel at all times.

Most major automakers are also developing vehicles that drive autonomously.

Google posted a video Tuesday featuring testimonials from people who had ridden in the new cars.

"The human feeling of it is very well engineered, and it is very smooth," said an older man identified only as Nick. "There's nothing that makes you feel the least bit threatened."

Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.