Google has been working on self-driving cars for years now, but its efforts matured considerably at the end of last year, when the company unveiled its first complete vision of a road-legal self-piloting vehicle. Prototypes have actually been testing on public roads in California in recent months, but while the cutesy exterior of the car has become an increasingly familiar sight, its interior has remained off-limits.
But last weekend, Google showed off the car at the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, California, and some people who were there took photos and shared them with The Washington Post.
Given that the car drives itself, it obviously doesn't need a steering wheel. Even so, it may come as a bit of a shock to actually see the cabin of the vehicle with no wheel at all, even on this prototype. Where the wheel and dashboard would usually be, there's a large open storage bin, which appears to house telemetry equipment (and, presumably, emergency controls - spot the big red button).
At the top of the image above, the display mounted on the car's 'A-pillar' (between the windscreen and passenger window) shows the view towards the back of the car from the right rear-view mirror.
Between the two passengers, a central console includes various buttons and controls, along with the all-important twin cupholders.
Above the storage tray bin at the front of the car, there also appears to be an integrated display of some kind, which most likely shows information like vehicle status and navigation details.
Despite Google's self-driving car remaining firmly in the prototype stage, the company has evidently put some thought into how its vision for vehicles that can pilot themselves might actually work in the real world. Even so, given that the car is still a prototype, the real-world cars that eventually go on sale with Google's self-driving technology onboard might well look very different to this one.