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Look Ma…No Hands!

When you hear Google, you think search engine.  What about car engine?  That’s not usually at the top of the list, but one day it might be.  Google X is the company’s research wing, and it has been secretly developing a self-driving vehicle for the past year.

Most other models of self-driving cars are just modified sedans with a few computers in the trunk.  But just in case something goes wrong, there is a big red button on the dashboard that shuts off the computers and turns it back into a stock car.  Unlike these attempts at self-driving cars, the Google’s is daringly built without a steering wheel or any pedals.

Instead, the Google X car has technology that can detect information as far away as two football fields in each direction.  Driving at a whopping 25 mph, it has lasers to see geometry, cameras to see when color matters and radars to detect distance.  All of those gadgets are housed in the dome that sits above the car.  For this reason, the only rain wipers found on the car are not on the windshield, but on the roof.

A car that drives itself has been in the hearts and minds of everyone from scientists to civilians and all the television and movie people in between.  While Google won’t say how much it’ll cost, this summer, the hundreds of prototypes on the road will make the self-driving car a reality.  So say goodbye to a driver’s license, buckle in to the Google Car, and cruise into the world of computers and algorithms.

Source: All Tech Considered

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