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?

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COMMENTS (94)
  • DavidR7777777
    5/28/2014 - 10:37 a.m.

    I don't think that a car without a steering wheel, brakes and a gas pedal is a good idea. I think that it would be dangerous and that there would be more car accidents.

  • Justin-Feh
    5/28/2014 - 11:18 a.m.

    I think this car can be a little unsafe. But it would be a cool thing to have and to experience. One thing though, if you are driving on the road and you come to a red light, what would happen if it wouldn't stop. Also say if you have your car outside your house and you forget to lock before you go to bed, someone then could brake in and steal your car because it's automatic. But if they sold these on the market, I think when I would be able to drive I would invest one of these.

  • Joe-Feh
    5/28/2014 - 11:22 a.m.

    They should make the car safer than a stop and go button. If someone was to dose off and not pay attention someone could get killed. They should have automatic breaks if the car is getting close to hitting something. This is a good idea but it needs to be safe. Also the car should go faster than 25 mph. Most roads go faster than 25mph so if that is as fast it will go, people will get mad.

  • Michael-Feh
    5/28/2014 - 11:25 a.m.

    This car could be a great idea but there could be some major problems. Like computer malfunctions with steering the car and going to fast and too slow. What about parking the car would it crash or scratch the car. What about gas would it know it is low on gas and take you there. Or the car could take you some where you don't want to and could possibly get you lost. Maybe google will change cars forever.

  • Rick2003
    5/28/2014 - 12:04 p.m.

    Even though the Google car is cool, i would think that it will be cooler if it first,could go faster, and second, the car should run on water. I have an alarm clock that uses water to power itself. The clock uses not a lot of water and in 8 days, no water was gone. Also Google should creat their own car because they will be copying a company's car and the company will not be happy.

  • mchacon18
    5/28/2014 - 12:21 p.m.

    A car that drives by itself with no gas pedal, brakes, and steering wheel. Google company wants to make advanced technology. They want to at least sell 100 self-driving cars

  • NoelleLin
    5/28/2014 - 02:11 p.m.

    I wonder how someone would make a drive it's self car. I thought that was inpossible to do that.that is really cool that google did that.who ever made that is really really smart.

  • Michael604
    5/28/2014 - 02:14 p.m.

    Rules aren't in place for driver-less cars because back when we made those rules, we didn't think driver-less cars were even possible to invent.

    I like the idea of driver-less cars. This could possibly change the way transportation is today. I see some concerns though, what if the computer stops working properly or shuts down completely while in the car? You could possibly be in danger and not be able to steer the car back on the road.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    5/28/2014 - 08:47 p.m.

    I think that it is amazing that Google is able to make car that can auto drive. I hope that when they are testing no one will get injured. I think that it is a good idea to make auto driving cars because people who are blind or who can't drive can finally drive again. I hope that building this car would be a successful process.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why arent rules already in place for driverless cars? Havent cars been around for more than 100 years?
    Answer: Rules are probably not set yet for driverless cars because it can be a helpful thing for the world. Cars have been around for a 100 years, but they have never built a car that can automatically drive by itself.

  • GEORGEC-ZDE
    5/29/2014 - 11:00 a.m.

    These self-driving cars are a highly innovative idea for Google. These cars, which are very intuitive to use, will most likely reduce many accidents on the highway. Car accidents are a major cause of death in the United States, and could be reduced by self-driving cars. Although the cars are not very fast, the Google self-driving cars will greatly impact the world. Driverless cars should be added in the law for this idea to take place.

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