Google unveils its own 'driverless' car, surprises with a live demo too!

At Anything On Wheels, we always classify people into two types, one that consider cars as mere modes of transport and the other that can’t resist grinning from ear to ear every time an opportunity to sit behind the wheel presents itself. Unfortunately, whichever group you classify yourself into, the reality is that driving in cities has become a chore these days. You might even be piloting a Porsche 911 but what’s the fun in being stuck for hours in a traffic congestion that leaves you scratching your head? That’s why, when Google announced that it is working on driverless cars, we were all ears! Though a handful of mainstream automotive manufacturers have tried their hands at driverless cars before, when it comes from the world’s leading tech giant, we better pay attention.

Weeks, months and years passed and all we heard about Google’s progress in this project were several instances of mainstream cars fitted with weird equipments being tested, often in locations out of sight of the general public. While we just about started shaking this thing off our brains, Google sprung a surprise last week when it unveiled its own ‘driverless’ car. Yup, that’s right. Not content with making all of us hyper-dependent on its search engine, Google built a car on its own albeit without a steering wheel, an accelerator, a brake pedal and the creature comforts. 

Now, stop screaming “What constituted the car then?” and scroll down.

A cute toy-like thing with four wheels, one at each end, is what this car actually is. Visualize our very own Tata Nano, this isn’t far off! It’s just that this Google thing is a whole lot cuter. It has two seats, space to accommodate passengers’ belongings, buttons to start and stop and a screen that shows the route inside. Of course, Google has loaded it with software, complex integrated circuits, a host of sensors and navigation equipment that ensures that this car can drive all by itself. With a restricted top speed of 25 mph, Google claims that the sensors in the car can remove blind spots and ‘see’ objects in all directions as far as two football fields away.

Doesn't that sound better than a human-being behind the wheel that can only ‘see’ ahead but has to rely on mirrors to know what’s behind?

Check out this cool video that Google has uploaded in YouTube.

Will you or one of us be able to buy one? No. Atleast, not now! About a hundred of these prototypes with purpose-built manual controls would be built to primarily be tested by Google’s safety drivers. If that’s successful, a small pilot program would be run in California, the hotspot of technology. And, if the tech develops and evolves as Google hopes it would, we might see a few of these on road. Now, that’s a lot of ‘if’s before we could see one on road for sure.

Chances are, if you aren’t working for Google and if you weren’t one of the lucky few that were part of the live demo last week, you might not stumble upon this car ever, like us! Sigh!!!

1 comment:

  1. THAT being said, we have to still have a steering wheel. Maybe we can have something known as an option.