29 May 2014

Google shows its own car

This is Google's first in-house developed self-driving car, writes Brian Byrne, as opposed to the adapted Toyota Priuses which the company has been working with in its autonomous automobile programme.

The 2-seater is essentially a suburban commuter concept, with a top speed of 25mph and while the prototype shown doesn't have any driver-operated controls, the 100 planned for experimental use will have.

There's no name for what was clearly designed as a concept to make us smile in nostalgia for our Noddy cars of babyhood. But don't knock it — Google has the resources and the commitment to eventually make this project work.

And most major car companies and tech component suppliers have developed all the sensory and operational equipment required for autonomous cars. There are two big problems — legals in most countries, and the ability to deal with the unexpected in an out of the box way.

But hey, most of the planes we travel in do most of their journeys largely piloted by computer.