Google introduces its first prototype of a completely driverless vehicle.

My annual birthday-month fund-raising drive for Behind the Black is now on-going. Not only do your donations help pay my bills, they give me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

Google introduces its first prototype of a completely driverless vehicle.

The prototype accommodates for two passengers and is missing quite a few of the features you’d expect to see in a standard car. With no need for a steering wheel, mirrors or braking and accelerating pedals, the car comes fully equipped with special software and sensors that feed information into an onboard computer, which then drives the car.

The story and video are very vague about a lot of important details, such as how much programing was necessary for the vehicle to do the specific test drives shown as well as how the passengers tell the vehicle where to go. Nonetheless, as a prototype this vehicle is quite intriguing.



  • Sayomara

    So is there no manual control? I’m reminded of the story of how the first fighter jets didn’t have guns because people assumed there would be no high speed Dog fights, it didn’t quite work out that way.

    Even the best auto pilot which is what this basically is. You still need he option if limited more than a traditional car to take over when things don’t go as planed.

  • wodun

    “With no need for a steering wheel, mirrors or braking and accelerating pedals”

    Why wouldn’t they put mirrors in? People like to look around without turning around.

  • Pzatchok

    No manual control?
    Count me out.

    Plus its ugly as hell. Looks like one of those kids riding toys.

  • joe

    These are not really meant for the open road, they as I understand it are for testing and gated community’s with a top speed of twenty five miles per hour, I could not see them being used for any kind of a commute beyond 5 miles, let alone a congested urban setting, the University of Michigan is building a testing facility that has a number of challenges for autonomous vehicles, with what looks like a second test track area at Willow Run airport where the b-25 plant was, I would imagine that there are more track test facilitys in other state also being built for this next step in urban planning. As for my interest, I would never use this mode of transportation, but I understand that it will have its applications.

  • Recall the movie ‘The Right Stuff’ where the Mercury astronauts are looking at the prototype capsule. People like to be in control of their machines.

  • joe

    I found a different side to the autonomous car that I had not thought of at The Truth About Cars, whereby the author of this piece has questions about software that would try to minimize an accident at a cost, just another viewpoint.

  • Ron

    B-24 plant.

  • joe

    My bad, thankyou.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *