Google is fighting to be a part of the first autonomous mass produced vehicles in the world.
On May 28, 2014 Google announced a prototype self-driving car that does not have a steering wheel or pedals. This prototype in particular, was unusual for Google as in previous models of autonomous vehicles they have just used mass produced cars as the basis and added features to make it autonomous.
Google is unlikely to join the production side of the motor vehicle industry, despite this current prototype, but should be a strong presence in the behind the scenes technology side of cars. With Google’s clear aim to license the software and technology to leading auto makers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, etc.
The self-driving prototype car that Google showed off, works by generating a detailed 3D map of its environment with a combination of high-resolution maps of the world and different data models to autonomously drive itself. It does this through the tandem technologies of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanner on the car roof, and radar and ultrasonic scanners.
Below is a video published by Google about people’s experiences of their prototype self-driving car.