The co-founder of Google Inc. – Mr. Sergey Brin revealed that the company has designed its own self-driving vehicles. The company developed a two-seated prototype that transports passengers at the push of a button.
Mr. Brin said in an official statement, which was cited by Bloomberg: “We took a look from the ground up as to what it would be like if we had self-driving cars in the world. We’ve worked with partners in the Detroit area, Germany and California.”
According to the company’s statement, Google has been working on the project for the past four years. The company revealed that the vehicle prototype lacks a steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal and basically looks like a gondola on wheels. The owners of such a car will be provided with the opportunity to set a destination address and the vehicle basically will do the rest by driving them there. The top speed disclosed by Google for now is limited to 25 miles per hour.
The company said that it works in collaboration with several automotive partners. For starters, the co-founder Mr. Brin said that Google Inc. has set a goal of manufacturing 100 to 200 test cars. The news comes at a time when there is a campaign aiming to make driverless vehicles more popular in order to make the roads safer.
The design of Google’s driverless cars resembles the one of Fiat 500 or the one of Mercedes-Benz Smart, but it won’t be equipped with a gas pedal, brake, steering wheel and gear shift. The only operations controlled by the driver will be pressing a red “e-stop” button that is intended for panic stops, as well as pressing a start button.
According to one of the analysts working at IHS Automotive – Egil Juliussen – the self-driving vehicles will gain greater popularity over the next twenty years. Mr. Juliussen said that the number of such cars in 2035 is expected to reach 11.8 million, and also projected that almost all cars are to become self-driving by 2050.
Google Inc. was 1.96% up to close at 574.87 dollars per share yesterday, marking a one-year change of +30.34%. According to the information published on CNN Money, the 41 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Google Inc. have a median target of 660.00, with a high estimate of 750.00 and a low estimate of 525.00. The median estimate represents a +14.81% increase from the last price of 574.87.