Google Inc. has designed its own self-driving vehicles that transport passengers at the push of a button as it aims to spread the new automotive technology, co- founder Sergey Brin said.
Working with automotive partners, the company plans to have 100 to 200 test vehicles that are fully autonomous with extra safety features, Brin said during a conference hosted by technology blog Re/code in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Google, which up till now had added its technology to other vehicles, plans to start testing the prototypes with drivers this year, he said.
Brin’s announcement comes amid a push to encourage the adoption of driverless cars, which aim to make roads safer with the company’s hardware and software. The two-seat prototypes, which have safety items such as additional foam at the bumper and a plastic-like windshield, are part of the company’s research laboratory called Google X, which is led by Brin.
“We took a look from the ground up as to what it would be like if we had self-driving cars in the world,” Brin said. “We’ve worked with partners in the Detroit area, Germany and California,” he said without giving specifics.
The prototypes let users ask for a destination address and then drives them to it, Brin said.
The vehicles will initially have a top speed of 25 miles per hour and won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal, the Mountain View, California-based company said in a blog post.
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