World Amazing Stuff: Google launches self-driving car

Google launches self-driving car

Google has just launched its self-driving car which it built from scratch. The car has a stop and go button, other than that no controls, steering wheel or pedals.

Pictures of the Google vehicle show it looks like a city car with a "friendly" face, designed to make it seem non-threatening and help people accept self-driving technology. Co-founder Sergey Brin revealed the plans at a conference in California.

"We are really excited about this vehicle, it's something that will allow us to really push the capabilities of self-driving technology, and understand the limitations," said Chris Urmson, director of the company's self-driving project.

It will seat two people, propulsion will be electric, and at the start it will be limited to 25mph (40km/h) to help ensure safety. The most significant thing about the design is that it does not have any controls, apart from a stop/go button.

The front end of the vehicle is designed to be safer for pedestrians, with a soft foam-like material where a traditional bumper would be, and a more flexible windscreen, which may help reduce injuries.

The vehicle will use a combination of laser and radar sensors along with camera data to drive autonomously.

It will depend on Google's road maps, built specifically for the programme, and tested on the company's current fleet of vehicles.