The Internet search giant has just started taking to the streets of Mountain View, California – where its headquarters resides – the first of its autonomous pod-like prototype units. And looking oddly enough, Google has decided to amend the design situation.
The Silicon Valley company has recently launched a new competition, called a “moving art experiment,” and having the main aspect of taking the tin can-looking cars and transforming them into moving pieces of art. There’s also an official theme: “my community, my neighbors.” The company will select up to ten different entries in a more democratic approach to BMW’s Art Cars program that the German premium manufactured has started back in the 1970s. While in the latter case the world’s greatest artists, such as Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Jeff Koons, were invited to adorn the bodies of street and racing cars, Google has decided that anyone 13 and above can compete.
The competition’s entries are expected until August 30 on the dedicated Google Car project website – a total of no more than 10 winners will be selected, used on the side of the vehicles and on the company’s website. The self-driving two-seaters are developed in cooperation with Michigan-based auto supplier Roush and have been presented as the next step in the evolution of the company’s autonomous car research program – Google already has gathered more than one million miles in the purpose modified Toyota and Lexus models it has been testing. The pod-like prototypes will have a top speed of 25 mph and later on during the program will make do without the traditional controls of a car – steering wheel and pedals.