During a conference yesterday, Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin has revealed that his company has now moved to designing its own autonomous cars – moving to the next level in its quest to bring self-driving automotive technology to the market.
Just to be clear, Google so far has been testing the autonomous technology on other cars – mainly standard issue Toyota Prius and Lexus SUVs – adding its own technology on top. Now, the technology company has announced it has moved into auto making territory, with its self-designed prototype cars.
“We took a look from the ground up as to what it would be like if we had self-driving cars in the world,” Brin said. “We’ve worked with partners in the Detroit area, Germany and California,” he added.
Brin said during the conference call that Google will soon move to have on the streets a fleet of 100 to 200 of its new test vehicles, all fully autonomous and with enhanced safety features on board – with prototype testing (drivers inside) starting by the year’s end.
According to a further blog post coming from the Mountain View, California-based giant, the new prototypes would let users ask for a destination and then proceed to drive them there, would be initially limited to no more than 25 mph and would lack the usual setup of steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal.