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Warning: The Future is Closer Than it Appears

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On: Thu, May 29, 2014 at 10:51AM | By: Karen Cook

Warning: The Future is Closer Than it Appears

Getting to the future is not a giant leap. Rather it is a series of baby steps with different research projects building on one another until a usable product is developed. Google has taken another step toward the creation of completely autonomous automobiles which it hopes to share with the world on a small scale this summer and as part of a partnership in the future.

It’s not an eye-catching vehicle, but it does what Google has designed it to do. In a Google blog post this week Google said, “Ever since we started the Google self-driving car project, we’ve been working toward the goal of vehicles that can shoulder the entire burden of driving. Just imagine: You can take a trip downtown at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking. Seniors can keep their freedom even if they can’t keep their car keys. And drunk and distracted driving? History.” The technology guru even foresees the blind being able to get around by themselves.

The prototype seen above was built by Google to house the technology which produces this miracle driving machine. It has room for only two passengers, no steering wheel, no gas pedal, and no brakes. With the push of a button, passengers tell the car where to go, and it goes. It doesn’t break any speed records doing so, however. The current model goes only 25 mph. The vehicle is very light because of its capability to avoid running into anything on the roadway. Google has removed crumple zones, deeming them unnecessary.

If all goes as planned there should be about 100 of these on the road by summer. These will allow driver to assume control if needed. If you’re lucky enough to test one of these, don’t get too attached. Google doesn’t plan to mass produce the car in its current state. Rather, they want to partner with car manufacturers to use the autonomous technology in more mainstream vehicles saying, “...if the technology develops as we hope, we’ll work with partners to bring this technology into the world safely.”

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