Google has produced yet another self-driving car for the general market. While it might seem a bit far-fetched for the general consumer still, Google believes that this is the vehicle of the future. Like many others in the automotive space, they believe that the age of driving cars is going to be behind us in the not-so-distant future, and those cars will be replaced by automated cars, which will also be safer. The notion is one that has been long talked about by those who are in power of companies like Google, Tesla, and even Apple who is reportedly getting into the automation space as well.
The latest prototype that Google has released, and will be making its debut on public roads this summer doesn’t even have the need for a gas pedal or brake. At first glance, it looks a lot like a smart car, and given the fact that it only seats two people – that’s a good step in the right direction. However, there are a lot of qualities about this car that simply don’t stack up yet because it is a prototype and isn’t the type of vehicle that you’ll find on car lots anytime soon.
Right now it lacks airbags, which are federally required. It’s very small, and isn’t overly comfortable. It only seats two people. It also doesn’t go more than 25mph, which is a serious roadblock for anyone who is considering making a move down the road to a self-driven car. There are a lot of positive takeaways from this car though. Especially if the creation goes smoothly and the vehicle works the way it’s supposed to.
The car is the first self-driven car to be built from absolute scratch. This isn’t a prototype that is a knock-off or spinoff of what technology has already created. That’s a positive point. Another positive is that Google has put together a lot of the required features that reveal just how feasible something like this actually is. Whether that translates to larger, and more functional vehicles – like the kind that would be road-worthy is another conversation altogether.
At this point it’s about putting together a piece of technology, or pieces of technology to better create an overall product for the general public. Google co-founder Sergey Brin has talked in the past about his high expectations for self-driving cars. The Google co-founder said, “We want to partner to bring self-driving to all the vehicles in the world.”
Meanwhile, Chris Urmson, who is the director of Google’s self-driving project pointed out that, “This vehicle is really all about us learning. This vehicle could go on a freeway, but when we think about introducing the technology, we want to do that very thoughtfully and very safely.” This project for Google is about creating the fundamentals that can eventually be brought to all vehicles down the road. Of course, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Google is also thinking about its long-term health with these types of projects, too.
It’s hard to imagine right now, but Google could be a company that is someday remembered for its work in the automotive industry, even as they have been one of the biggest names in breaking walls down on the Internet, and had a huge part in making the computing world what it is today. It simply speaks to the landscape and how quickly these big companies, like Google, are getting into industries like the automotive space.