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Google unveils autonomous vehicle, no steering wheel or pedals

It was always an inevitable breakthrough. Google has revealed its first fully autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel and no pedals. You just jump in and it takes you where you need to go.

Google car-no steering wheel

Google has been experimenting with the technology for years and has even sent a Toyota Prius on a million-plus kilometre journey with no driver input.

The internet giant is planning to build 100 of these funny-looking prototypes, which will be driven by engineers to further hone their useability and practicality.

As you can see, the car isn’t based on anything on the market. It looks like a toy, “cute” as one lady describes it, with a huge bubble windscreen, multi-coloured panels, and a big camera and sensor system on the roof. Google said,

“On the inside, we’ve designed for learning, not luxury, so we’re light on creature comforts, but we’ll have two seats (with seatbelts), a space for passengers’ belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route – and that’s about it.”

The sensor is able to scan everything around, 360 degrees, with a range of about 200 metres. It can then negotiate objects and navigate through traffic all by itself, and keep an eye on pedestrians.

Performance? For now the prototypes will be speed-limited to 40km/h to keep them as safe as possible. Well, as safe as it gets for a car with no steering wheel.

We can’t help but wonder what purpose the side mirrors have? Click play below for the ‘first drive’ demo.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.