Should you find yourselves on the roads of Northern California over the next few weeks, stuck behind a tiny pod-shaped vehicle, don’t be frightened if you look for a driver to honk at, only to come up short. That’s right, Google has announced that after months of testing at their private facilities, they’ll now be taking their autonomous cars out on to the open road. USA Today has the scoop:
After months of fine tuning at Google’s private testing facility in central California, a few of the search company’s bubble-shaped vehicles have started to circulate around the company’s headquarters to further adapt to real world driving scenarios.
The cars represent concrete evidence of Google’s vision for self-driving cars, which amount to fully automated vehicles that can carry two people and a modest amount of groceries or other items. (There is no trunk).
While these polished white prototypes do have rudimentary steering wheels and pedals for the on-board safety driver, the ultimate iteration will demand that occupants fully trust the machine to get them safely to their destination.
Google is soliciting advice from the community on how well these vehicles are performing on the road, so feel free to send any and all “how’s my driving?” complaints their way on their self-driving car page.
Despite a few hiccups in the early stages of testing, Google is hoping that as they develop the technology to get these cars on the road, U.S. laws will loosen enough to allow them to be used across the country’s roadways.
I, for one, can’t wait for the day that I can kick back and sleep for an extra hour on the way in to work, while my robot butler angrily sulks in traffic.
Via USA Today.