Google to manufacture self-driving cars

:Google is to start building its own self-driving cars, rather than modifying vehicles built by other manufacturers, BBC reports.

The car will have a stop-go button but no controls, steering wheel or pedals.

Pictures of the Google vehicle show it looks like a city car with a “friendly” face, designed to make it seem non-threatening and help people accept self-driving technology.

It will seat two people, propulsion will be electric, and at the start it will be limited to 25mph (40km/h) to help ensure safety.

For early testing, extra controls will be fitted so one of Google’s test drivers can take over if there is a problem.

The controls will simply plug in, and as confidence in the technology grows over time, they will be removed entirely.

The front end of the vehicle is designed to be safer for pedestrians, with a soft foam-like material where a traditional bumper would be, and a more flexible windscreen, which may help reduce injuries.

The vehicle will use a combination of laser and radar sensors along with camera data to drive autonomously.

It will depend on Google’s road maps, built specifically for the programme, and tested on the company’s current fleet of vehicles.

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