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#1 Ironman273

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 14:50

Google designs new self-driving vehicles that lose the steering wheel and pedals
BY RICHARD LAWLER MAY 27TH 2014
 

google-car-prototype-pic.jpg

 

Google has been tweaking its self-driving car project for years, but now it's taking another big step. Later this summer it will start testing prototype vehicles it's designed from the ground up, instead of merely retrofitting existing vehicles. Announced tonight the the Code Conference, the new prototypes aren't equipped with a steering wheel, mirrors, pedals or other vestiges of vehicles gone by, and for now are limited to a maximum speed of 25MPH. As explained in an early preview to Re/code, the car is driven entirely by computer, with backup automated systems for brakes and steering that would take over in case of a failure of the primary setup. So far, Google says it's not planning to sell the vehicles itself, but is looking for "friends and partners to bring them to market. Following rumors from late last year, the automated cars could partner with a "friend" like Uber for a delivery service that runs on autopilot. Take a peek at test drives and demo videos explaining how the cars work after the break.

 

Google+Self-Driving+Car+Project+-+Google

 

The prototypes shown have a rounded, cartoonish appearance, and Google says they're built with foam and flexible windshields that reduce the chance for injury if they do collide with anything. Before they hit the road entirely sans-drive though, Google will need to address regulations requiring a test driver inside. It expects new legislation will allow for the fully-automated vehicles soon, which we guess is bound to be better than the texting, eating or napping drivers we currently share our commutes with.

 

 

 

 

Source: Engadget




#2 Dan~

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 14:57

Dangerous, how can you avoid an accident or pull over for emergency vehicles, crazy idea



#3 Luc2k

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 15:58

Dangerous, how can you avoid an accident or pull over for emergency vehicles, crazy idea

Might be a problem if all the forward lanes are blocked by an accident, until somebody installs signs at any rate. As for emergency vehicles, they probably have special profiles like the cyclists.



#4 vcfan

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 16:05

and when the sensors fail

#5 sc302

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 18:11

they already have these cars driving around their campuses taking employees to different buildings. 



#6 +Phouchg

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 18:14

No. As long as we keep going backwards in cavemen phase of software engineering, no software can be trusted and there must be manual override.



#7 Hum

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 20:50

Great suicide machine. :p

#8 tsupersonic

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:16

I think there needs to be some sort of manual control. Also, they couldn't have made it look better? 



#9 Tomo

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:28

25 mph? I hope it's comfortable because it's gonna be a long ride



#10 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 03:07

25 mph? I hope it's comfortable because it's gonna be a long ride

it's a google design, it'll keep stopping for every advert it sees :p



#11 Charisma

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 03:28

In the immortal words of Jeremy Clarkson, "What could possibly go wrong?" :p

 

I like the idea and that they are innovating. I'm eager to see where this going, but I don't even like to be a zero-day, early adopter of new devices or OS's due to bugs, glitches, annoyances, exploitation... much less something that could potentially kill me. I'll just make some popcorn, take a seat, and see what happens.



#12 blerk

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 03:37

You'll probably see them in larger numbers on dedicated lanes like HOV lanes first when on public roadways. They'll then next migrate to the cities like London and Paris with congestion zones and (proposed) low speed zones (I believe Paris wants the entire area around the Seine restricted to 20mph).

 

I bet actually having a ride in one of these cars in a major city will be quite frustrating. Cyclists and pedestrians will have the upper hand when it comes to rights and the car's safety programming, so I can imagine that it will be a very jerky stop-start mode of travel, as I bet these cars will have a very large (initially excessively large) safety zone to 'protect' cyclists/pedestrians/etc when these cars are driving in the city. 



#13 Hum

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 02:36

25 mph? I hope it's comfortable because it's gonna be a long ride

I think skateboarders go faster. :p