Google has been showing off its work on driverless cars for a few years now, but up until this week, these vehicles always used a human driver or two for backup. But all that has changed with the introduction of Google’s new, completely autonomous vehicle. The prototype car doesn’t have a steering wheel or pedals, and passengers are buckled into what are essentially back seats. These cars aren’t street legal yet, but while regulators iron out the details of when and where they can drive, Google is intent on showing that automobiles are far safer without any input from us puny humans.
Google’s newest unit is purpose built for safety. The form factor means its cameras and sensors have no blind spots and can detect objects for 360 degrees and as far as 200 yards away. The electrical vehicle tops out at 25 miles per hour and has a front end built of soft foam, tweaks Google hopes will cushion any pedestrian struck head on by the car.
The company knows that its driverless cars will likely be a ripe target for scammers looking to sue Google, but its hoping that can be prevented by the array of cameras recording the vehicles every move. As Sebsatian Thru, the original inventor of Google’s driverless cars, told the New York Times, “…the big losers are going to be the trial lawyers.”