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Google announces its self-driving car is now fully functional

Google announces its self-driving car is now fully functional

Google today announced it has completed the first build of its self-driving vehicle prototype. This is the first fully-functional self-driving car from the company.

Google first unveiled its self-driving vehicle in May, which notably did not include a steering wheel, pedals, mirrors, and other components drivers normally use to navigate cars. In August, the company agreed to include temporary steering wheel and pedal systems when testing autonomous cars, in response to new California DMV rules.

Without further ado, here is the first fully-functional prototype:

google_car_prototype_december_2014

google_car_prototype_december_2014

For the sake of comparison, here is the mockup unveiled in May:

google_car_mockup_may_2014

google_car_mockup_may_2014

You’ll notice the mockup in May didn’t even have real headlights. The company has put together many prototypes since then, each designed to test different systems of a self-driving car.

This includes typical car systems like steering and braking as well as the self-driving parts like the computer and sensors. “We’ve now put all those systems together in this fully functional vehicle—our first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving,” Google said.

The Google Self-Driving Car team rightly calls this “the best holiday gift we could’ve imagined.” It must be very rewarding to get the first working prototype ready right before leaving for the holidays.

More to follow

Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob… read more »

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