Google begins road-testing its latest autonomous fleet

Google begins road-testing its latest autonomous fleet

Google has officially started testing its fleet of in-house-designed autonomous vehicles on public roads.

A picture accompanying the announcement shows one of the uniquely-shaped two-seaters driving around in Google’s home town of Mountain View, California, presumably at or below the self-imposed “neighborhood-friendly” maximum speed of 25 mph.

“They’ll drive using the same software that our existing Lexus vehicles use–the same fleet that has self-driven over 1 million miles since we started the project,” the company wrote in a blog post.

The Lexus fleet has been involved in a dozen accidents so far, but none have been blamed on the autonomous piloting system.

The new prototypes integrate a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal and brake pedal, all required to be compliant with California’s new laws for self-driving vehicles.

“These prototype vehicles are designed from the ground up to be fully self-driving,” the company adds. “They’re ultimately designed to work without a steering wheel or pedals, but during this phase of our project we’ll have safety drivers aboard.”

The company has asked for feedback from other drivers and residents, some of whom have already chimed in with their opinion of the 25 mph speed cap.

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