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Google reveals first ‘real’ self-driving car

Google today revealed its first ‘real’ self-driving car with working manual ‘car’ parts and ‘self-driving’ parts.

WHEN GOOGLE revealed its self-driving prototype back in May it arrived without a steering wheel, something which authorities ordered the company to rectify if it wanted to test the car on public roads.

Since then, Google’s Self-Driving Car Project team said in a Google+ post, “we’ve been working on different prototypes-of-prototypes, each designed to test different systems of a self-driving car—for example, the typical “car” parts like steering and braking, as well as the “self-driving” parts like the computer and sensors. We’ve now put all those systems together in this fully functional vehicle—our first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving”.

While it doesn’t look a whole lot different to its mock-up from May, this new self-driving car actually has working headlights but is still limited to driving around suburban streets only thanks to its top speed of just 25mph (40km/h).

According to Google, the Self-Driving Car Project team will spend the Christmas holidays testing the thing “on the streets of Northern California”. It says its “safety” drivers will use manual controls whenever necessary as, like most self-driving cars it’s still not perfect.

The future, it would seem, is getting a whole lot closer.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober