Sometimes, we joke about concepts like driverless cars as the next (kinda creepy) futuristic thing. But leave it to Google to turn those jokes into full-on reality. Today, the tech giant unveiled the "first real build" of a self-driving vehicle prototype that has no brakes, gas pedal, or steering wheel. The future is here, folks.
Here's how it works: the electric-powered car will take direction from a smartphone app and then pick you up and automatically drive to the destination you selected. The only thing you can control is a start and stop button for emergencies. Google first unveiled a mockup of the car this May, which can be seen below. But that car didn't even have functional headlights. Google will be taking the cream-colored prototype on the roads of Northern California over the holidays, and it will be overseen by safety drivers who can use manual controls on the car if necessary.
According to information Google released in May on the self-driving vehicle project, the two-seater car can see 600 feet in all directions and will be made from a foam-like material in case the computer fails and crashes (eek!). As for speed, it'll reach no more than 25 miles per hour. If that sounds slow, just think that the cars are meant for driving in urban and suburban settings instead of freeways.
The ultimate hope is to reduce traffic-related incidents caused by things like distracted or drunk driving. While the car looks like something straight from Disney's Toontown, it's not just cute — it's also pretty darn convenient.