Published On: Thu, Dec 25th, 2014

Google’s Driverless Car to Hit the Road in 2015


Search engine giant Google has revealed that its self-driving car will take to the streets of California next year. A video released earlier this year of the vehicle actually used a prototype that “didn’t even have real headlights, ” the India Times said.

Google has been individually testing different functions of the automobile like steering and braking as well as cameras and sensors. Now that each part of the car has been designed effectively, it’s time for the egg-shaped vehicle to be tested, the report said.

The futuristic automobile has “go” and “stop” buttons but the rest of the ride is taken care of by GPS navigation and camera sensors which detect hurdles along the way, according to the report.

One hundred of these cars will be produced initially with the broad aim of making driving a simpler task than it already is.

“The experience feels different. You’re just sitting there, no steering wheel, no pedals – for me it was very relaxing. In about 10 seconds after getting in, I forgot I was there. It reminded me of catching a chairlift by yourself, a bit of solitude I found really enjoyable”, said Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.

While the car is being tested over the Christmas vacation, safety monitors will check the functioning of the vehicle using temporary manual controls, said the report.

As Google releases the cars into the real world and seeks partners to take the project forward,  Tesla Motors Inc appears to be most ideal candidate, eFinance Hub said.

After all, both Google and Tesla are young companies with ambitious (and relatively) young billionaire founders who dream of changing the world. Larry Page of Google is a CEO who wants to make as much impact on the world as possible by launching multiple world-changing technologies while Elon Musk of Tesla is daring enough to dream of dying on Mars – only, not on impact as he likes to put it, the report said.

As Google seeks to branch out beyond its spectacular success as a search engine, the driverless car is among the most practicable ideas from its Project X laboratory where Google’s so-called ‘moonshot’ projects are dreamed, designed, and developed. Other Project X projects include Google’s plans to offer internet services using balloons, and so on, eFinance Hub said.

Google and Tesla have complementary strengths in technology – Google can bring the driving technology, its upcoming Android for autos, Google Maps and so on, while Tesla has a platform ready.

Google’s self-driving car technology can be integrated with Tesla cars and built into its Model S vehicles as well as the upcoming Model X and the much-anticipated mass market Model 3, said the report.

By opting for Google’s self-driving car technology and forming a partnership with a technology leader like Google, Tesla will ensure that it thrives despite the many challenges it faces – not the least of which is the currently-low price of crude oil that has led to cheap prices at filling stations all over the world.

The final call will be up to the billionaire triumvirate — Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Elon Musk, the report said.

 

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