Google launches driverless car

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(APTN)

Google has announced it will build its own self driving vehicles that will not have a steering wheel.

The two-seater won’t be sold publicly, but Google said Tuesday it hopes by this time next year, 100 prototypes will be on public roads.

Though not driving very quickly – the top speed would be 25 mph (40 kph).

The cars are a natural next step for Google, which already has driven hundreds of thousands of miles in California with Lexus SUVs and Toyota Priuses outfitted with a combination of sensors and computers.

Those cars have Google-employed “safety drivers” behind the wheel in case of emergency. The new cars would eliminate the driver from the task of driving.

No steering wheel, no brake and gas pedals. Instead, buttons for go and stop.

The electric-powered car is compact and bubble-shaped – something that might move people around a corporate campus or congested downtown.

Google is unlikely to go deeply into auto manufacturing. In unveiling the prototype, the company emphasised partnering with other firms.

The biggest obstacle could be the law.

Test versions will have a wheel and pedals, because they must under California regulations.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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