Google's car is go...


So on the same day PH features one of the most exciting driver's cars ever produced, Google reveals its first driverless car. Oh Lordy.

Having adapted conventional cars for its previous driverless projects, Google has now designed a car from the ground up. As you can see, it has been styled to appear as inoffensive and 'nice' as possible, with a face that looks like something from a Nintendo game made from squishy foam. Aww.

Of course the reason for the soft front is the same reason for the 25mph limited speed; perceived safety. Google wants its autonomous tech to be as unintimidating as possible, which will take some considerable work given this is a car without pedals or a steering wheel. There are just stop and go buttons. Well, that's the eventual plan but the initial 100 prototypes will be fitted with additional controls so one of Google's test drivers can take over if necessary. No further details on how that works just yet...

Google's head of the self driving project is Chris Urmson who said the car is "something that will allow us to really push the capabilities of self driving technology, and understand the limitations". He expects the 100 test cars to be on the roads around Google's Silicon Valley base within a year.

Vid here crammed with Google sickly sweetness and old people.

 

[Sources: Telegraph, FT]

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Comments (347) Join the discussion on the forum

  • CraigyMc 07 Jun 2014

    cmoose said:
    I don't think it's meant to be a stepping stone to production in terms of the structure of thing, that's pretty tangential. The real 'prototype' aspect isn't the chassis etc, it's the sensors and software.
    Neither do I. The GMD cars are pretty much production prototype ready, hence the post.

  • RenOHH 07 Jun 2014

    Yeah it's definitely intended to be quick & dirty, and easy to work on. It must take no time at all to remove some body work and get straight at the electronics. You don't go straight to production intent on a vehicle prototype in a normal car either.

  • cmoose 07 Jun 2014

    I don't think it's meant to be a stepping stone to production in terms of the structure of thing, that's pretty tangential. The real 'prototype' aspect isn't the chassis etc, it's the sensors and software.

  • CraigyMc 06 Jun 2014

    andyps said:
    Watching that made me look gain at the chassis of the Google Car - have they been talking to GMD? It does look pretty similar to the concept of the iStream car Gordon Murray has been looking at.
    I'd say the actual mechanical structure of the google car looks really basic - like a rollcage with a thin skin on top (like a racing car/NASCAR, that sort of thing).

    The video of the google car shows an exposed tubular rollcage behind the seats, and below the level of the roof. It shows a couple of different spaceframes, neither of them like a Murray car.

    Ignore the flowery music on the video and the comfy-looking leather bench seat.
    Look at the framework. Look at the wheels. The wheels seem to be small and yet are on 5-stud hubs --why? Is it really heavy? Did they just use an off-the-shelf part to throw this together quickly?
    The car is running on Continental tyres - Murray's work has been with Michelin (as a technical partner).
    Put simply I don't see Murray's fingerprints on this - it's not refined enough.
    It looks like someone has designed a very short nascar rollcage and covered that with a cutesy non-structural body. It looks like a Proof of Concept rather than a prototype. That's fair enough of course, you've got to start somewhere.








  • Lowtimer 06 Jun 2014

    I thought it has a touch of the Murrays about it.

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