New car has no steering wheel, brake or gas pedals A Google driverless car navigates along a street in Mountain View, California
New car has no steering wheel, brake or gas pedals
Lexile

Google will build a car without a steering wheel. It doesn't need one because it drives itself.

The two-seater won't be sold publicly, but Google said Tuesday it hopes by this time next year, 100 prototypes will be on public roads. Though not driving very quickly the top speed would be 25 mph.

The cars are a natural next step for Google, which already has driven hundreds of thousands of miles in California with Lexus SUVs and Toyota Priuses outfitted with a combination of sensors and computers.

Those cars have Google-employed "safety drivers" behind the wheel in case of emergency. The new cars would eliminate the driver from the task of driving.

No steering wheel, no brake and gas pedals. Instead, buttons for go and stop.

"It reminded me of catching a chairlift by yourself, a bit of solitude I found really enjoyable," Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, told a Southern California tech conference Tuesday evening of his first ride, according to a transcript.

The electric-powered car is compact and bubble-shaped something that might move people around a corporate campus or congested downtown.

Google is unlikely to go deeply into auto manufacturing. In unveiling the prototype, the company emphasized partnering with other firms.

The biggest obstacle could be the law.

Test versions will have a wheel and pedals, because they must under California regulations.

Google hopes to build the 100 prototypes late this year or early next and use them in a to-be-determined "pilot program," spokeswoman Courtney Hohne said. Meanwhile, by the end of this year, California's Department of Motor Vehicles must write regulations for the "operational" use of truly driverless cars.

The DMV had thought that reality was several years away, so it would have time to perfect the rules.

That clock just sped up, said the head of the DMV's driverless car program, Bernard Soriano.

"Because of what is potentially out there soon, we need to make sure that the regulations are in place that would keep the public safe but would not impede progress," Soriano said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why arent rules already in place for driverless cars? Havent cars been around for more than 100 years?

Filed Under:  
Assigned 6 times


COMMENTS (53)
  • KETIAB-ZDE
    5/28/2014 - 02:47 p.m.

    Cars have evolved from their style and to what the car can offer such as bluetooth , so talking to a person is more convenient , or having Internet but some customs and styles have always such as having a steering wheel , pedal and gas brakes. Driverless cars seem a bit dangerous being that people can barely handle themselves with a steering wheel and without , there might be chaos throughout all streets and avenue. Rules for driver less cars have to very different because this different way to drive and not everybody might be capable of doing it.

  • RachelBi
    5/28/2014 - 05:28 p.m.

    I think that its really neat that they were able to build a car without a gas and brake pedal and no steering wheel. However, I also thing that if we eventually start driving cars like this the future generations would be deprived of the learning to drive experience.

  • KalynSi
    5/29/2014 - 02:42 p.m.

    Driving in a computer operated car is extremely dangerous. If you are about to get into a car accident your first instinct is to press the break not press a button.

  • TrevorC42
    5/29/2014 - 05:05 p.m.

    Rules are not already in place for driverless cars because the dmv thought that day would still be further away. It would be so nice to have cars that drive themselfs it would be so much safer. Adults could go out for a night and everyone would get home safely. There would be no such things as DUI's anymore either. it would keep the roads cleaner also.

  • ROBERTS-ZDE
    5/29/2014 - 08:05 p.m.

    This seems to be a great leap in innovation. This technology could be used for patrols around schools and other public places. This would give security and/or police officers to pay more attention to watching for suspicious activity than driving. In the long run it could have a great impact on society.

  • 3BriannaA
    5/29/2014 - 11:44 p.m.

    I'm not exactly sure how to feel about the driver-less car. I think its a cool idea, but there are also downsides. As it does not have a steering wheel or breaks or a gas pedal, if the technology were ever to go wrong with the car, even the emergency driver, it would be hard to keep control on the road. Also, I predict that it would increase the texting and driving rate because people wouldn't have to focus on the road. I wonder if they will ever increase the speed limit on the car, and if it will ever be able to be sold to the public and if so, how much would it cost?

  • 9KeeliaP
    5/30/2014 - 07:13 a.m.

    I think it would be cool to have cars like these. However the pros and cons of using technology like this should not be ignored. If these cars were used to like escort injured or elderly people i think that would be fine and beneficial. But if we were to use cars like these in the future, it would be really inconveinent to have a car that only goes 25mph. They could also be inconvinent in the sense that if you wanted to go somewhere and wanted to turn but the car wouldn't it would be a chore to have to either circle around or figure out a way to turn the car manually without a wheel or gas pedals.

  • 9morganm
    5/30/2014 - 07:19 a.m.

    Weird I don't know if I want a car like this. Only 25mph that seems really slow. Also buttons for go and shop that's strange I don't know if I would want that either, what if you accidentally press the wrong button, what if someone accidentally pushes it, I don't know, it could be unsafe. At least the car looks nice.

  • DominicK711
    5/30/2014 - 11:03 a.m.

    I think that is pretty cool, but there should be two modes to it, the manual and auto modes.auto going slow but no steering or braking, and manual being like a standard car.

  • alexus053
    5/30/2014 - 11:05 a.m.

    i agree but there should be two modes to it, the manual and auto modes.auto going slow but no steering or braking, and manual being like a standard car.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT