Google has designed its own self-driving car and it plans to build around 100 prototype vehicles for testing. The move is part of an industry-wide race to bring the technology to the market.
As AAP reports, in the past the company has adapted vehicles made by other manufacturers with self-driving technology. This is the first car Google has designed itself.
"They won't have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal ... because they don't need them," the company said in a blog post.
"Our software and sensors do all the work."
"If all goes well, we'd like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years."
Google isn’t the only company developing self-driving cars. German auto maker Daimler AG, for example, wants to release self-driving cars by 2020. In addition, Toyota and Audi have previewed self-driving vehicles.
As Rapid City Journal points out, apart from freeing up drivers from the task of actually driving, the technology promises to potentially save thousands of lives. According to David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US, human error is currently a factor in as many as 90 percent of traffic deaths in that country.
In addition, it is claimed the technology could help reduce traffic problems on highways, reduce carbon emissions by shortening travel times, and give more independence to the elderly and the disabled.