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Google Self-Driving Cars Begin Tests on City Roads This Summer

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/15/2015 Erick Ayapana

Google announced today that prototypes of its fully autonomous vehicle will begin tests on public roads this summer. The company first unveiled its self-driving car last year, though development and testing has remained within its own facilities.

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© Provided by MotorTrend Google says it has 25 prototypes ready and all will be equipped with a steering wheel and accelerator and brake pedals in case the test drivers need to intervene. The test cars will be limited to city streets surrounding Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and top speed is capped at 25 mph.

The software, camera, and sensors equipped in Google self-driving car are the same ones used in the fleet of Lexus RX450h crossovers equipped with the company’s autonomous technology. Google says those Lexus test vehicles have logged at least a million miles over the past few years and will start testing in other cities outside of Mountain View, allowing the company to further tweak and improve its autonomous software.

Ultimately, the production vehicles won’t have the manual controls found in the prototypes. Instead, the vehicles will simply have seating for two, a place for belongs, a screen displaying the route, a start button, and an emergency stop button. MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

While this isn’t yet a confirmation that the Google self-driving cars will go into production, it’s certainly a significant step towards that goal.

Source: Google

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