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Google's Self-Driving Project: First Prototype

Another Google car is ready to hit the streets. It has no steering wheel, pedals or gear box, just a button to make everything work.

Hi, I am a fully automated car prototype with a laser turret atop

Earlier, Google was testing its autonomous driving system on a group of car manufacturers, consisting of Toyota Prius, Audi TT and Lexus RX450h. This time Google made its own car from the scratch. The design of this harmless little bug looks pretty silly, but it surely serves its purpose. Just look at this smile, it really makes you less cautious of the whole driverless thing. The size and body-shape also give the laser turret (the only thing that looks completely out of place in this pretty little thing) a better look.

Safety comes first, so Google capped the speed of the cars to 25 miles an hour and put a plastic windshield instead of a glass one to minimize threats to passengers in case of a collision.

The big red thing there looks like an aircraft ejection seat button

Unfortunately, this is just a stop button. There is also a route screen and two cup holders for your tea or coffee. Or maybe even something stronger, because, well, you are not actually driving the car.

The project team is anxiously looking forward to bringing the vehicle to the world, and Google plans to build about 200 more cars for test purposes. Chris Urmson, the Director of the Self-Driving Car Project, says that if test results prove successful, they will launch a pilot program in California in a couple of years.

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