June 26, 2015—Google’s autonomous two-person, passenger vehicles have started to circulate around its company headquarters to further adapt to real world driving scenarios, according to a report by USA Today.
These cars are a realization of Google’s vision for self-driving cars. The vehicles are pod-like in their design and can carry two people, have no trunk, and have a black bubble on the roof containing scanners that map the world around. These prototypes do have a rudimentary steering wheel and pedals for the on-board safety driver, but the vision is to have occupants fully trust the machine to get them to their destination.
Google has had a fleet of two-dozen Lexus SUVs that are strapped with radar and Lidar sensors driving the streets of Mountain View for years now. The cars have logged a total of more than a million miles on city streets, resulting in about a dozen accidents that Google claims were the fault of the human drivers. Recently Google agreed to keep a running web-based tally of any incidents going forward after being criticised for not doing so in the past.