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Google’s car will take you home drunk

Google's autonomous car

29/05/2014 08:38 |  Comments: 

Editor

Our heavyweight champion, Balázs, or better known as Assur on the premises is the news writer of the mother site, totalcar.hu. Oh yes, he’s an automotive engineer too. They say there isn’t a data that has ever escaped his mind, all we know is that he can drop into any conversation about any car that was made after the war, and he’ll be able to add a ton of details you won’t ever be able to find in books. He has been thinking of selling his longserving Volvo for years, so he always has some used car adverts open on his computer, just in case. Has a wife and two (almost grown-up) children.

This little toy car could revolutionise transport.

Google has been building self-driving cars for years, but so far have only transplanted the control system into existing cars. Their latest effort, however, is a prototype built from scratch and, although it is still in its infancy, perfectly illustrates what the makers aim to
achieve.


There is only a pair of comfy seats with leather upholstery inside the simple tubular framed vehicle, and there is no need to drive it all. Having been given the destination of the journey, the prototype starts at the push of a button. Everyone is merely a passenger from then on, as it has no accelerator pedal and no brake pedal. It sounds quite frightening, but those who have tested it loved it.

It’s clear by watching the film that the chassis is little more than a rough-and-ready shell around the tubular frame, even the doors don’t fit properly, but the bubble shape and the funny koala face were certainly not designed by an amateur. These features are meant to make the car look inoffensive and likeable, and ease all worries of losing control over the vehicle which is driven by an electric motor and has an top speed of 40 km/h. According to the designers, there’s no need to worry as safety was a priority during the design process.


Previously, Google had been developing the software and the sensors of its automatic car by modifying Lexus RX models, but from now on prototypes of their own design will be ready for testing. For early testing extra controls will be fitted allowing the test drivers to interfere in case there’s a problem, but the purpose is to design a vehicle that takes you where you want to go at the push of a button.


According to the software giant, the technology could revolutionise transport and put an end to drunk driving or careless driving. The hassle of parking will become a thing of the past, too, as the car is perfectly capable of doing it all on its own. There are still a few hurdles to overcome, though: should self-driving cars really get out on the roads, legal regulations must be updated as well as the users of driverless cars can’t be made responsible in case of causing an accidents.

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